L.A.’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to reopen next month

Remember the Alamo Drafthouse?

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in downtown Los Angeles will welcome moviegoers back to its screens next month for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the theater chain announced Thursday. Tickets for the L.A. location — set to reopen May 28 — will be available for purchase starting mid-May.

In March, the beloved movie exhibitor and craft-beer vendor filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because of the public health crisis, striking a deal to stabilize itself that included $20 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

“In August of 2020, our teams began slowly and methodically reopening theaters all over the country — and I do mean slowwwwly,” an announcement on the Alamo Drafthouse website reads.

“It’s a lot of (expensive) work to wake one of these babies up — considerably more than a little bit of dusting — so that’s why we’ve been slow to reopen locations in 2021. That’s about to change.”

In addition to L.A., Alamo Drafthouse theaters in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Austin, Texas; Denver and other cities across the country will resume operations in the coming months. The company’s only other California cinema, in San Francisco, will return in July.

“Many of our locations around the country have been open since early September (remember when TENET opened fifteen years ago?),” the Alamo Drafthouse site reads.

“We’ve spent that time refining our approach to COVID-19 safety, with health and safety standards and procedures based on CDC guidelines, consultations with local health officials, and the feedback of our guests and team members. We have and will continue to modify those guidelines based only on science and common sense.”

The Alamo Drafthouse’s post-pandemic guidelines include social distancing, wearing a mask except when eating or drinking (“Duh.”), regular hand-washing, and exiting screening rooms in “an orderly fashion” to avoid crowding.

“You know the drill,” the site reads.

The establishment also encouraged moviegoers to stay home if they felt sick and promised to fully refund their tickets in the event of illness. Inside the screening rooms, “buffer seats” will remain empty to separate parties, “and you better believe there’s still no talking and no texting during the movie.”

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