A Sign of Normal: Movie theater to open Aug. 14

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – It’s a sign many people have been waiting for, a hint of some ‘normalcy’ returning in the midst of the continued coronavirus outbreak.

Friday, Cinemark announced it is reopening a number of its theaters, including its complex in Fayette Mall.

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The company says this is an expansion of its test-and-learn process for its safety protocols.

The theaters will reopen on Aug. 14, but tickets can be purchased starting Friday night.

The theaters are enticing customers with deals. Upon reopening, guests are invited to enjoy “Comeback Classic” films and their favorite traditional concessions at greatly reduced “Welcome Back” prices, with $5 tickets for adults and $3 for children and seniors.

Moviegoers looking for a more personal experience can book a Private Watch Party and host a private screening of a “Comeback Classic” film in a dedicated auditorium for up to 20 guests starting at $99.

All locations will reopen with greatly enhanced cleanliness, sanitizing and safety measures at every step of the movie-going experience.

Employees will undergo extensive training prior to reopening and will wear face masks and gloves while working, in addition to completing a wellness check-in prior to every shift. Each theatre will also have a designated Chief Clean and Safety Monitor on duty to ensure the highest standards of safety, physical distancing, cleanliness and sanitization.

All theatres will reopen with staggered showtimes to maximize physical distancing.

Seat-Buffering Technology will automatically block seats adjacent to a party upon ticket purchase.

Face masks are mandatory for all guests within the theatre and may only be removed for eating and drinking in the auditoriums.

Cinemark is substantially raising the fresh air rate in its building HVAC systems by adding purge cycles and constantly using supply fans to increase total volume of fresh, outside air flowing into our theatres. All theatres utilize MERV filters in its HVAC systems.

All public and high-touch spaces, such as concession stands, door handles, drink stations, self-ticketing kiosks, benches and restrooms will be thoroughly sanitized every 30 minutes using products identified by the EPA to be effective in eliminating COVID-19.

Each auditorium will be disinfected every morning, and all handrails and occupied seats, along with those on either side, will be sanitized between show times.

For additional assurance, there will be seat wipes and ample hand sanitizer available for customer use.

Auditoriums will have limited capacities that meet or exceed local ordinances.

Cinemark has streamlined its in-theatre ticket verification processes, no longer requiring digital ticket holders to carry a paper ticket, and moviegoers purchasing tickets at the theatre will no longer need to hand their printed ticket to an usher. All are encouraged to purchase tickets online and use contactless payment methods for a more contact-free experience.

To help reduce potential contact between cash and food-handling areas, cash payments will not be accepted at the concession stand. However, each theatre will have a designated area where cash will be accepted, and gift cards will be available.

There will be plenty of in-theatre signage that will encourage moviegoers to practice proper physical distancing as well as showcase the new protocols involved in The Cinemark Standard.