The AMC and Regal theater chains are cutting their seating capacity in a “social distancing” maneuver aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
The rival movie theater chains said Friday that they are capping seating within each individual theater to 50% of capacity, or more.
AMC also said it will not allow more than 250 people in any auditorium.
The moves come amid billowing concern about the impact of the coronavirus, which threatens to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans.
AMC and Regal are already facing a prolonged period of crisis as Americans stay home to avoid becoming infected and as film studios postpone movie release dates. For example, movies like “Mulan” and “No Time to Die” have been delayed.
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“AMC is also actively complying with all local authorities’ directives on social gathering and is further reducing the availability of tickets to comply with any current or future federal, state or local governmental order,” the company said in a statement.
The health and safety of our customers and staff is very important to us. We are continuing to follow and monitor official guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health organizations.
Regal spokesperson Heather Peters said in an email that the company is also “complying, where applicable, with state mandates on social gathering limits.”
Like many other public places, both chains said they are also implementing heightened cleaning protocols.
Contributing: Brian Truitt
Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.