The Alamo Drafthouse has revealed its plans for reopening. The specialty theater chain, which operates 41 locations across the U.S., has announced that it will begin opening again in July, but not all at once. What’s more, the chain has outlined strict and comprehensive new measures intended to make its patrons feel safe, which will include temperature checks.
Outlined in a letter shared by founder and executive chairman Tim League, the Drafthouse will be taking temperatures of all employees, as well as some guests. Infrared, no-contact thermometers will be used. Anyone with 100.4 temperature or higher will not be allowed to enter. League had this to say about it in his letter.
“We want you to feel safe. Our driving principle has been to make the Alamo Drafthouse experience one of the safest possible indoor activities, ‘safer than a supermarket,’ and far exceed the expectations you already have for supermarkets, gyms, and restaurants. 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, both of which will be sanitized between screenings with an electrostatic fogger and disinfectant.”
The Drafthouse will also require masks for all employees and customers. AMC, Regal and Cinemark drew backlash when it was revealed they would only be encouraging masks, not requiring them. AMC and Regal were quick to reverse course. Cinemark has yet to address it. Tim League also says they will remain “escalate our protocols at a moment’s notice” if need be and that state and local regulations are the “base level.”
All ticket sales will not be handled online, with at least two buffer seats between groups. The theater will also largely be handling food ordering online to minimize contact with employees. This will reduce payment processing at theaters, which is all intended to help maintain social distancing. Tim League also talked about the challenges that have come with changing the model that helped to make the chain a success.
“The steps outlined below will dramatically increase physical distancing, introduce enhanced and exhaustive new cleaning procedures, and temporarily change our service model. To do this, we’re revising and reimagining how we do things, and how you experience Alamo Drafthouse. That’s no small task, it means flexing a model we’ve refined for over twenty years, and we know we’ll need to stay nimble as we learn new and better methods.”
No specific reopening date has been set and it isn’t yet clear which of the chain’s locations will open first. Tim League says they will be opening one or two locations in early July which will be “learning labs” of sorts. For a full outline of the company’s new safety procedures, you can head on over to Drafthouse.com.