Movie theaters are open, but are people going?

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Under normal circumstances, movie theaters like the AMC theater in Plymouth Meeting, Montgomery County, would be packed.

Instead, on Friday, the theater looked empty.

The staff says ten tickets were sold for both of the evening's last two movie screenings at 7 p.m.

"We've been back a few times, and I feel not many people are going out to the movies," said moviegoer Rickey Speer. "The last two movies we've been to, we were the only two people in there."

It's no secret, like most businesses, theaters have struggled to stay open.

Regal Cinemas, which is the second-largest cinema chain in the U.S., suspended operations last fall and remains shuttered.
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Regal Cinemas says it will suspend all operations in the U.S. later this week.

For the theaters that managed to survive the state restrictions and multitude of shutdowns in 2020, they're operating at a severely reduced capacity and pandemic parameters in place like mask mandates, hand sanitizer stations, and floor markers for patrons to socially distance.

"They're constantly wiping down surfaces, they're always masked and they observe the six feet apart rule," said moviegoer George Ralph.

While those strict protocols may not be enough to lure patrons back into the theaters, some worry going out to see a movie could be a thing of the past.

"If they don't start coming out to the movies soon, we're going to lose movies as a whole," said Ralph.
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