San Diego is the first major California market in California to see indoor movie theaters reopening with the AMC Cinemas and Regal Cinemas chains back in business this weekend.
AMC is reopening seven of its nine sites in San Diego County on Friday, a spokesman said. A rep for Regal said the chain has set a Wednesday reopening for nine of its San Diego multiplexes along with three in Northern California — two in El Dorado County and in Sonora, the county seat of Tuolumne County.
The reopenings are coming with Warner Bros. planning to launch its oft-delayed Christopher Nolan thriller “Tenet” in U.S. theaters on Thursday. Domestic business was modest during the past weekend with about 62% of theaters open and “New Mutants” leading with $7 million at 2,412 locations.
Nearly all of the nation’s movie theaters closed in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and California is keeping most of its movie theaters closed for now. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Aug. 28 that 87% of the state’s population, or 38 of the 58 counties (including Los Angeles and Orange), were in the “purple” tier or “widespread” tier. The purple designation means that more than 8% of tests are coming back positive and there are more than seven new cases daily per 100,000 residents.
San Diego, however, is one of nine counties in “red tier” or “substantial” counties with 4% to 7% rates of positive tests and four to seven news cases daily. That designation allows movie theaters to begin operations with capacity limited to 25% or 100 people, whichever is less.
Counties must stay in each tier for at least three weeks before they can move to a less restrictive tier in California. They will only be eligible to move to a less restrictive tier if their numbers show improvement for at least two weeks.
The news was first reported by Deadine Hollywood.
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