San Antonio Movie Theaters Won’t Open Friday, But Most Are Leaving Future Plans Vague

The Alamo Drafthouse will not reopen any of its Texas theaters on Friday. - Instagram / thehoneytrapperwebseries
Instagram / thehoneytrapperwebseries
The Alamo Drafthouse will not reopen any of its Texas theaters on Friday.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include information on Santikos Entertainment's plan to reopen three of its theaters.

None of the movie theater chains operating in San Antonio will reopen Friday, when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen the state goes into effect.

Abbott announced on Monday that certain businesses, including movie theaters, will be allowed to open their doors again on May 1, despite COVID-19 concerns.

Santikos Entertainment will reopen three of its theaters on Saturday, May 2 and EVO Entertainment in Schertz will reopen on Monday, May 4.

Phase one of Abbott’s plan allows retails stores, malls, restaurants, libraries, museums and movie theaters to reopen at 25% capacity. The new order replaces any guidelines from San Antonio officials that were announced in recent weeks.

Movie theaters across San Antonio closed in mid-March after the city issued social distancing orders to help combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

Each movie theater chain can, of course, decide for itself if they will reopen on Friday. Here is a look at what some of the local movie chains said about reopening:

Alamo Drafthouse (Not opening May 1)

On Monday, the Alamo Drafthouse posted on their Facebook page that it would not be reopening any of its Texas theaters on Friday.

“Opening safely is a very complex project that involves countless new procedures and equipment, all of which require extensive training,” the post read. “This is something we cannot and will not do casually or quickly.”

The statement went on to emphasize the Drafthouse’s commitment to safety for staff and guests when it does decide to reopen.

Santikos Entertainment (Three theaters opening May 2)

Andrew Brooks, Santikos Entertainment Executive Director of Marketing & Sales, returned the Current's email with a statement. Santikos theaters will not be opening Friday.

“When we open, it will be imperative we open the right way,” the statement reads. “That’s why for the past six weeks, we have been working diligently on safety protocols that will make Santikos a model, not just for theaters, but for all businesses on how to open responsibly. As always, we remain committed to our guests, employees, local community and look forward to announcing soon, when we can see you at the movies.”

While this statement indicated that the chain would be taking an abundance of caution, on Wednesday the San Antonio Business Journal reported that Santikos will be opening three of its theaters starting Saturday, May 2: the Palladium, Casa Blanca and Cibolo locations.

Regal Cinemas (Not opening May 1)

Richard Grover, VP of Communications at Regal, provided us a statement when we emailed him Tuesday afternoon to ask if the five Regal theaters in San Antonio and one in Live Oak would be reopening on Friday:

“At this time, we have not made a decision when to reopen Regal theatres, [but] we are not opening on Friday,” Grover said. “We are constantly following the information provided by authorities. In order to open our theaters … we will need to ensure the safety of our guests and employees. At the same time, we are working closely with our studio partners on when they will make their movies available. We will continue to work with both authorities and the studios in order to host our audiences and show them the big blockbusters in a safe environment.”

AMC Theatres (Not opening May 1)

AMC Theatres also released a statement:

“As the largest movie theatre chain in the United States, AMC is strongly committed to bringing movies back to the big screen, safely and responsibly,” the statement said. “As we plan our reopening, the health and safety of our guests and associates is our absolute highest priority. To be able to open, we also need a line of sight into a regular schedule of new theatrical blockbusters that get people truly excited about returning to their favorite movie theaters. Those blockbusters are scheduled to return this summer, beginning with Warner Brothers’ Tenet and Disney’s Mulan, with many more major titles scheduled immediately thereafter.”

Cinemark (Not opening May 1)

Through email, a representative with the public relations team at Cinemark released a statement to the Current about opening in time for director Christopher Nolan’s new film Tenet:

“Cinemark is currently working toward a mid-summer opening date, contingent upon health and safety regulations, as well as availability of studio content. The first release currently scheduled is Christopher Nolan’s Tenet set for July 17.”

City Base Entertainment (Not opening May 1)

Brad Smith, Managing Partner at City Base Entertainment, said that even if local theaters wanted to open this Friday, logistically, it wouldn’t work. Theaters, he said, would need at least 10-14 days to train staff on new safety protocols. So, City Base will not open this Friday, but he couldn’t rule out any dates after that.

“With the latest information from our governor, we should be announcing very soon what our plans are moving forward,” Smith said. “We are always committed to the health and safety of our guests and our staff. We are excited to bring everyone back! We will continue to keep you updated.”

Flix Brewhouse (Not opening May 1)

San Antonio’s newest movie theater was only open for a month before it had to close its doors due to COVID-19. The Flix Brewhouse Facebook page was updated Tuesday morning with a message about reopening.

“Like many of you, we are excited at the prospect of cinemas reopening in Texas,” the message reads. “However, there are many things that need to be considered prior to bringing our team and guests back into our building. For this reason, Flix will not be reopening just yet this coming weekend.”
Flix goes on to talk about protecting guests and team members, “which is a multifaceted, complex project that [they] are working through now.”

EVO Entertainment in Schertz (Opening May 4)

The movie theater in Schertz will be reopening on Monday, May 4. A manager we spoke to Tuesday afternoon said that a decision on what movies would be playing has not been made yet, but pointed us to their new website with COVID-19 information.

“In accordance with Governor Abbott's Executive Order GA-18, we will once again open the doors to EVO Entertainment,” the statement reads. “Beginning on Monday, May 4, 2020, our venues in Kyle, Texas, and Schertz, Texas, will resume limited operations under Phase 01 of our COVID-19 Re-Launch plan.”

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