Cinemas Open in San Diego

AMC opened 98 percent of its theaters nationwide and with limited capacity in all San Diego counties.

POWAY, Calif. – The smell of movie popcorn is back. It’s showtimes in theaters across the country. On Friday, AMC opened 98% of its theaters nationwide and all of its theaters in San Diego County with sold-out shows.

Most movie theaters have been closed for a year and it was unknown whether they could survive the pandemic. The AMC Dine-In Poway 10 reopened sometime last year, but had to close again in October.

There is a 25 percent cap on the capacity inside the auditorium under the state’s safe reopening plan. Each party is six feet apart, which is roughly every three seats, which is why Showtime is sold out.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any tickets online, but I thought I’d bring them (the kids) here and try, but they sold out,” said father Sal Gropo.

AMC has hand sanitizer and wipes ready, as well as new air filtration systems and cleaning in between shows.

“It was me and another woman and that’s it. Hence total social distancing,” said Sandy Munger, who watched the film.

Masks are required in addition to eating or drinking.

“I’m used to wearing my mask for everything, but not until I’ve eaten my popcorn,” Munger said.

Not all concessions are open in some jurisdictions, but are allowed in San Diego County.

Even as Hollywood competes with streaming services, Munger says she wasn’t going to watch the Oscar-nominated Nomad at home.

“My daughter said I could watch it for free on Hulu and I said, ‘Debbie it’s all about the popcorn and the big screen, hello! Munger said.

Since there is limited seating, moviegoers are encouraged to purchase their tickets online.

As of Friday, Reading Cinemas, Angelica Film Center and AMC have opened in San Diego.

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