Movie theaters will be taking precautions to keep you safe and healthy.
So many people are itching to get back to the movie theater. It's one of the best ways to enjoy a new film! But theaters, with their close seating and crowded premiers, had to rethink a lot of their setup because of the pandemic. So things will probably look a little different when you go back. Here's what you can expect.
"Concessions are a big part, but we want it to be safe, too," John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), told Dr. Oz.
What's a movie without buttered popcorn and your favorite drink? Here are three ways snacking is changing.
No Big Butter Pump
Say goodbye to drenching your popcorn in warm butter at the counter pump. While you'll till be able to buy popcorn at the concession stand — and put butter on it — you won't be doing it yourself.
"There's no big butter dispenser out front where you fight with your friends and fellow guests over who's putting on the butter. We're going to do it for you, so that it's not a shared experience," Fithian said.
This also goes for any other condiment or food you'd get yourself from a communal dispenser: ketchup, mustard, soft drinks, straws, utensils, etc.
Switch to Contactless Payment
"We're reducing the amount of time between our staff and you," Fithian said.
Going forward, moviegoers are encouraged to buy their chosen concessions ahead of time on an app, when available. Otherwise, they'll be asked to pay with credit cards at the stand. Cash will be discouraged to decrease hand-to-hand interaction between everyone.
You'll Need Your Mask
Whenever you're in the concession area, you'll need to wear your mask. So no more testing a few pieces of popcorn in the lobby before entering the theater. And if you need to run to the counter for a refill in the middle of the film, make sure you bring your mask. Once you are seated in your theater, where there is enough designated space for everyone to social distance, you'll be able to remove your mask to enjoy your snacks. When you're done with your food, slip the mask back on.
Snacks aren't the only part of the moviegoing experience that'll be different. NATO sent these other guidelines to American theaters in anticipation of welcoming more customers.
- Employees and patrons will be required to wear masks at all times, unless otherwise noted by the CDC, the state or the theater (like when you're enjoying your snacks in your seat).
- Social distancing will be required between customers (except those arriving in the same group).
- Total theater capacity will remain decreased.
- Air ventilation will be increased where possible.
- Employees will be required to wash hands frequently, and hand sanitizer will be available for customers in common areas.
- Theaters will be disinfected between screenings, and high-touch areas will be cleaned frequently.
- Employees will receive health training to recognize the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
- Customers are encouraged to purchase tickets online or by phone to minimize the need to stand in line for entry.