As bars and restaurants have been back open in the Quad-Cities, the two major movie multiplexes in the area plan to reopen this month, both with new health and safety restrictions.

Cinemark, at 3601 E. 53rd St., Davenport, will open Aug. 14, and Regal, at 4100 38th St., Moline, will be back and running Aug. 21. Cinemark is doing a phased reopening nationwide – 16 theaters are now open, with 43 more on the 14th and the rest by Aug. 31 – and Regal is reopening all its U.S. locations on the same day.

Cinemark Theaters opens August 14.

“There’s nothing quite as powerful as great cinematic storytelling on the big screen,” Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi said in a video on the company website. “We wanted to ensure the time was right before we reopened our doors. This global pandemic has changed how we live our lives.”

“The health and safety of our employees and guests and communities is a top priority,” he said. “We are evolving how we operate so you feel confident and comfortable when you visit one of our theaters.”

Cinemark has been testing out its new cleaning, staff and guest procedures in 10 movie theaters in Texas (one of the nation’s Covid-19 hot spots), among seven states where it has reopened already. On Aug. 14, the 18-screen Davenport complex will be among just three in Iowa and Illinois to open; the others are in West Des Moines and Woodridge, Ill.

Zoradi said movie classics will be shown at first, before the latest films, for discount admissions of $5 for adults and $3 for children, plus discounts for concessions.

The film industry has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. In June, AMC Entertainment, the country’s largest exhibition chain, acknowledged that the crisis could push it into bankruptcy, after reporting a first-quarter loss of over $2 billion.

Regal Theaters opens August 21.

Its international movie theaters resumed limited operations in early June. AMC had restarted at 37 theaters in nine countries as of June 30. The largest U.S. movie theater chain said it aimed to have around two-thirds of its domestic circuit open in August, ahead of the opening of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” on Sept. 3.

Among the new changes at Cinemark will be:

  • When you purchase movie tickets at Cinemark, we now automatically block the seats adjacent to your party. In addition, we are staggering showtimes to allow more time for guests to exit and prevent overcrowding in our restrooms, halls and lobbies.
  • We encourage you to purchase tickets online, which will allow for a more contactless experience. Guests who purchase tickets online are no longer required to also carry a printed ticket. Simply show your ticket confirmation QR code to the usher at the ticket podium to scan,
  • Practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet from fellow guests and employees in all areas of the theatre — including entrances, lobbies, concession areas, restrooms, hallways, restaurants, game rooms, lounge areas and auditoriums. Physical distancing markers have been placed on floors throughout the theatre as a reminder.
  • Cinemark will require that face masks be worn throughout our theatres. Masks may be removed when eating and drinking inside the auditorium.
  • Each morning, all auditoriums are extensively disinfected using pressurized sprayer equipment to reach all seats, handrails, armrests, tables, footrests and cup holders.
  • Any seat that is occupied will be sanitized again before the next showtime, as well as adjacent seats, handrails and children’s booster seats. For extra assurance, seat wipe dispensers are available for any guest who wishes to re-clean their seat.
  • Cinemark is proactively placing hand sanitizers at the box office and active concession stand registers. Seat wipe dispensers have also been added, centrally located in hallways outside the auditoriums.
  • Cinemark is raising the fresh-air rate of building HVAC systems by adding purge cycles and constantly using supply fans to increase the total volume of fresh, outside air flowing into our theatres. The air circulation system diffuses air from the ceiling down toward the floor where it is then returned to our air filtration equipment.

Most of the same policies will be in place at Regal Cinemas in Moline.

  • Along with the ability to buy tickets in advance on the mobile app, guests will have the ability to purchase concessions from the app.
  • Employees will sanitize every auditorium and seat after each movie using new electronic fogger equipment.
  • Each theatre will sanitize high-contact points on an increased schedule and use floor markers throughout the facility, to help with social distancing.
  • Employees will undergo daily health screenings, including temperature checks; will be required to wash hands every half hour to hour, and to wear masks.
  • Guests will be required to wear face masks at all times in the lobby, hallways and restrooms. Masks can be removed inside the theater only when eating and drinking. Employees monitor auditoriums throughout each screening. Where socially unacceptable behavior is observed, including non-wearing of a mask, this will be addressed with the patron.
  • Where required by state or county mandate, auditorium capacities will be reduced to 50 percent. The reservation system will maintain two empty seats between groups (one seat at recliner locations), and where performances are non-reserved, you will be requested to leave two seats between groups.
  • At concessions, every other register will be closed to maintain social distancing and a reduced menu will be temporarily available.

For information about Regal, visit regmovies.com/static/en/us/corona-virus-response. For more in Cinemark, visit cinemark.com/cinemark-standard.

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Jonathan Turner has been covering the Quad-Cities arts scene for 25 years, first as a reporter with the Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, and then as a reporter with the Quad City Times. Jonathan is also an accomplished actor and musician who has been seen frequently on local theater stages, including the Bucktown Revue and Black Box Theatre.