You can have an AMC theater to yourself now: What movies are out?
The movie theater industry has been flailing ever since March of this year. The pandemic swiftly made the concept of sharing public spaces a big “no” for pretty much everyone, let alone sitting arm to arm with strangers for a couple of hours while sharing the same air.
For months there were no movie theaters that were open, partially because it wasn’t safe and partially because no movies were willing to go forward with a theatrical release. Big chains like Regal & AMC took the time to revamp procedures for customers & cleaning, and to install new air systems. By the time September rolled around they were ready for Tenet, the first movie to try a theatrical release since March.
No one at the movie theater. pic.twitter.com/uJrDo7KZZp
— Alastair Williamson (@StockBoardAsset) September 12, 2020
However, the “crowds” in the U.S. were pretty pitiful because people figured it was best to just stay home. (We don’t blame them.) Plus New York & California had almost no theaters open yet and they’re the two biggest theater demographics in the country.
Theater chains hoped the release of a new James Bond movie in November could keep them going, but the film, No Time to Die, has pushed its release date again and isn’t expected to premiere until 2021 now. Shortly after this announcement, Regal began to shut down its theaters again – presumably it’s more fiscally sound to be closed than to pay workers who aren’t doing anything.
AMC has taken another route, however. Instead you can rent an entire theater room for yourself – social distancing taken to the maximum.
AMC theater rentals
Theaters have always had the ability to rent out one of their showing rooms to people who were willing to pay a pretty penny. In fact, Regal Cinemas frequently advertise this ability before they start the trailers. AMC has now made it vaguely affordable to do so, though in the hopes of being able to keep their doors open.
For $99 you can rent out an entire theater room all to yourself. If that seems a bit much you can invite up to twenty other people to share the room with. If you all split the cost and spread out around the room it’s not a bad price.
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to attend a public movie showing with nobody else in it, then you know how fun having an entire movie theater to yourself & friends can be. It’s often considered a coveted experience for avid movie-goers.
If you’re interested you’ll have to fill out a small form, which essentially acts as an inquiry, and AMC will get back to you with a price. The inquiry does not require any payment information though, so you’re still able to change your mind when they get back to you.
There’s always a catch
While yes, you can rent an entire theater for $99, this isn’t a guarantee. If you’re primed & ready to see a movie while still maintaining impressive social distancing, it’s worth noting that the price may well be a little (or a lot) higher than the sub one hundred dollar price that’s being advertised. This price is merely the “starting” price.
The cost could vary depending on what movie you choose to view and the location of the theater – theaters which are likely to be in more demand are probably going to be more pricey than ones with fewer patrons.
People are apparently missing the theater-going experience, though, which means AMC theater rentals are also actually in rather high demand. If you live in a highly populated area, don’t be surprised if you’re given a notice that all bookings are currently sold out and that you’ll have to check back later.
Movies out now
With so few movies releasing in theaters this year, you’re probably wondering what you could even go watch if you did manage to snag an AMC booking. Alas, most of the options aren’t great. There are currently eight new 2020 films to choose from and nine previously released films from other years.
Of the 2020 releases two are horror movies, Come Play & The Empty Man – if you manage a Halloween or pre-Halloween booking these may be excellent choices. There’s one romantic dramedy called 2 Hearts, a romcom called The Broken Hearts Gallery, and a Robert de Niro comedy called The War with Grandpa.
For action films you can either choose the horror/fantasy The New Mutants, based on Marvel comics, a Liam Neeson movie, Honest Thief, or you can choose the highly anticipated Christopher Nolan movie Tenet. Keep in mind when selecting any of these new movies you’ll automatically be informed the price is $149 to $349 plus tax.
If you’re hoping to keep the price tag as low as possible, but want to be in a movie theater again for a sense of normalcy, then you might want to peruse the nine older movies. There’s the 2019 The Addams Family, Alita: Battle Angel, Hocus Pocus, How to Train Your Dragon, Jumanji: The Next Level, Jurassic Park, Monsters Inc., The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Shrek. All the older movies are listed at $99 plus tax.
Depending on when you go to make a booking/inquiry the list of movies might have changed slightly. Perhaps a small budget film will brave a theatrical release. On the other hand some of the older movies such as Hocus Pocus, seem like a seasonal opportunity and may also see some slight changes in the future.
So, what do you think? Does it sound worth it to book your very own private movie showing? Will you just suck it up, mask up, and see a public showing? Or are you going to wait until there’s widespread use of a COVID-19 vaccine before ever stepping foot in a movie theater again? Let us know in the comments below!