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AMC Theatres To Reopen With 15-Cent Tickets, But Kansas City Moviegoers Have Mixed Reactions

The AMC at Ward Parkway Center will reopen on Thursday, with moviegoers required to wear masks.
Lucas Cuni-Mertz
KCUR 89.3
The AMC at Ward Parkway Center will reopen on Thursday, with moviegoers required to wear masks.

Despite vintage prices and new safety measures, many don’t plan to return to the movies anytime soon.

AMC Theatres will reopen Thursday for the first time since closing in March, and it’ll cost you just pocket change to get in.

To commemorate its reopening and 100-year anniversary, the Kansas City-based theater chain is selling 2020 tickets at 1920s prices. That’s 15 cents.

Yes, you read that right. The last time a trip to the movies was this cheap, Woodrow Wilson was president, gas was a quarter, and Americans were more worried about the Spanish Flu than any coronavirus.

Concessions will no longer cost you an arm and a leg, either. Discounted menu items, such as $5 popcorn, will run through October.

These throwback prices may sound too good to pass up, but some are still wary to return to the movies during a pandemic.

“I personally find it in poor judgment,” said Kane Jarmon, a 29-year-old Westport resident. “The ongoing cases just keep going up, and I don’t think it’s in our best interest.”

AMC is requiring customers to wear masks, despite its CEO's earlier comments that it would not require its customers to do so for fear of being drawn into a political controversy. Theaters will also limit the number of seats and have upgraded ventilation systems to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to a company announcement.

These measures aren’t enough for everyone, however, and some are skeptical of the theater’s discounts.

“I don’t know if they should be bribing people to go back in,” said Thomas Winter of Kansas City. “Fifteen cents is a nice offer, but against the backdrop of the pandemic, it sounds a little over-enticing.”

But many believe the reopening can be done safely and are excited to return to AMC, whose reopening comes after multiple delays.

“I think it’s great to open up! They’ve been a pillar in our community since I was a kid,” said 36-year-old Brandon Henderson of Kansas City. “If they do proper protocols where everyone can space out in the theaters, I think it’ll work out.”

Others point to all the businesses that have reopened as a sign theaters should be allowed to do the same.

“I mean they’re allowing football to go on, so what’s the difference, really?” said Kristen Cornell, 43, of Olathe. “If people want to go to the movies, let them go to the movies. It’s their choice.”

You’ll be able to make that choice starting Thursday at five Kansas City locations: Ward Parkway, Independence, Town Center, Barrywoods and Olathe.

Lucas Cuni-Mertz is a KCUR news intern. He's on Twitter @cunimertz_lucas.

Lucas Cuni-Mertz is a news intern at KCUR 89.3.
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