Movie theaters and their fans were among the hardest hit by the pandemic and the havens for buttery popcorn and checking out the latest blockbuster release have been slow to regain their former attractiveness. No matter how comfortable those reclining chairs are in the new upscale theaters, movie theaters just didn’t bounce back to their pre-COVID acclaim.

Now, theaters and movie companies are betting on bringing movie lovers back, with the release big blockbuster movies for the holiday season, typically one of the largest grossing time-periods for theaters. Banking on enjoyable family members and a pretty impressive list of movies, theaters remain hopeful this year’s holiday season won’t be a total bust.

So, if you haven’t returned to your favorite movie palace yet, here’s what you can expect, if you decide to give it a try. Theaters are doing their best to ensure guests feel safe returning to theaters, and are still following COVID-19 safety protocols.

At the Glenwood Arts theater in Overland Park, masks are still required indoors for guests and employees, unless eating while seated. The theater also disinfects between shows and allows room for social distancing.

AMC theaters have the same policy and provide disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizing stations throughout the theater and in concessions.

As of July, the overall box office reached $1.06 billion in ticket sales, down 42.3% from 2020 and down 81.3% from 2019. Movie theaters still have a way to go to catch up, but guests are mostly feeling good about their return.

According to a survey of more than 4,000 of its ticket buyers about their recent experiences, 93% said they were satisfied with their return, with 87% mentioning the theaters’ great job making them feel safe in the wake of the COVID-19. 

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