AUSTIN (KXAN) — Alamo Drafthouse says it will reopen several of its locations this summer — for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Texas businesses for months.
The Austin-based company says it will use “aggressive” safety protocols and new methods for ordering and serving food to mitigate its theaters from causing spread of the virus.
In its announcement, Alamo Drafthouse says:
“We intend to make it so that you can leave your car, make it to your seat, enjoy your food and drinks, and be able to leave having never come within six feet of another person other than when your order is delivered, and having never touched a surface other than your chair and table…”
Notably, Alamo says that each theater will be sanitized with an electrostatic fogger and disinfectant between screenings.
Safety measures that will be implemented during the reopening include:
- Online ticketing only
- Masks must be worn — Customers must wear masks at all times, except when eating or drinking. Masks will be provided for customers who don’t have one
- Distancing — There will be two buffer seats between groups, providing “at least” six feet of space — in addition to six or more feet of space on all sides
- Contactless payment — Food ordering and gratuity will all be done in advance online
- Employee safety measures — Alamo employees will be required to wear masks and gloves at all times. Gloves will also be frequently changed and hands must be washed at least every 30 minutes
- Temperature checks — All employees will have their temperatures taken before their shifts
Alamo says reopening will not happen all at once and will depend on locations and their communities level of COVID-19 threat/numbers.
Beginning in early July, the company says it will reopen one or two locations as a test, and then decide how the larger reopening should operate.
Tim League, Alamo founder says in the announcement:
“This next phase will be different from what we’re all used to. It won’t always be ideal. But if we all continue to do our part, it won’t be forever.“
Back in March, Alamo Drafthouse, along with Regal Cinemas, AMC and Cinemark chains all announced they would close in response to coronavirus.
In April, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced his three-phase plan to reopen Texas businesses, which allowed movie theaters the option to reopen as part of Phase 1 beginning May 1. At that time, Alamo chose not to reopen, saying “This is something we cannot and will not do casually or quickly.”