On Monday afternoon, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that Texas businesses like restaurants, movie theaters and malls are allowed to reopen this Friday, May 1 (at 25 percent capacity). Since then, there’s been much curiosity surrounding who will decide to open their businesses and who will wait.
Some Texas movie theaters have started to make decisions on whether they will reopen this weekend under these new guidelines — most are saying “not yet.” We’ll continue to update as we hear from more theaters.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
Austin-based independent cinema chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has announced that it will not be reopening its Texas theaters this Friday.
“Opening safely is a very complex project that involves countless new procedures and equipment, all of which require extensive training. This is something we cannot and will not do casually or quickly. We will not be opening this weekend,” an Alamo spokesperson said in a statement. “But know this, when we do open, we will be providing the safest possible experience for both our staff and our guests and we can’t wait to see you all again!”
Austin’s AFS Cinema, the city’s only nonprofit arthouse theater, released a statement saying that it will not reopen yet.
“The fractured federal response to Covid-19 left cities and local governments grappling with limited information and resources as the virus rapidly spread right under our noses. Texas is the state with the fewest number of tests issued per capita, Travis County Covid-19 cases are on the rise, and experts from around the world are warning about the dangers of reopening too early. We are shocked at the decision of the governor to declare it safe to open movie theaters, even at 25% capacity. The AFS Cinema will remain closed until further notice as we do our part to prevent the spread of this deadly virus.”
The iconic Texas Theatre in Dallas’ Oak Cliff will also not be reopening this weekend.
“The Texas Theatre will not be re-opening to the public on May 1st,” a theater representative tells PaperCity. “Rather we will continue to offer our virtual programming and curbside packages, while monitoring evolving county guidelines, conditions and safety procedures.”
For now, you can support the movie theater by streaming its Virtual Screening Room with films like Pahokee and What She Said The Art of Pauline Kael.
Highland Park Village Theatre
“At this time, we do not have plans to reopen the Village Theatre until this summer,” Dallas’ Highland Park Village Theatre rep tells PaperCity.
AMC Theatres and Plano-based Cinemark will wait to reopen as well. According to Deadline, the two chains are aiming for mid-summer reopenings, when fresh studio releases may also become available to theaters.