June 18 (Reuters) - AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc said on Thursday it plans to reopen theaters at about 450 locations in the United States on July 15 and expects returning to full seating capacity around Thanksgiving.
The world’s largest movie theater operator also said it would reopen the remaining 150 theaters in the country in time for opening of Walt Disney Co’s “Mulan” on July 24 and Warner Bros.’ July 31 release of “Tenet”.
The company said it will adopt a four-phase approach to increasing limitations on the seating capacity, adding that social distancing will be enforced across all auditoriums.
In phase 1, beginning July 15, ticket availability in all AMC auditoriums will be capped at 30% of the normal seating capacity and it will block every other row in non-recliner auditoriums.
This cap will be increased to 40% of the seating capacity in phase 2 and 50% in phase 3, which is expected to begin around the Labor Day weekend.
The company plans to operate at full capacity in Phase 4, expected around Thanksgiving.
AMC also said that as part of its health and sanitation program every auditorium will be cleaned between each showtime along with a routine disinfection of all high-touch areas including door handles, stanchions, service counters, handrails, escalator rails, benches, and restroom fixtures. (Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)