Fandango will make it easy to see seating arrangements, safety info as theaters reopen

Several movie theater chains are preparing to open their doors to the public over the next few weeks, and Fandango is launching a new feature to make it easier for people to find proper health and safety information as they decide whether they’re ready to go back.

Both Fandango’s website and mobile apps will incorporate several resources, including socially distant seating maps, attendance policies provided by theater chains, and a new search filter to find reopened theaters. Within the individual safety policies for different theaters, people will be able to find information about auditorium occupancy, mask policies, enhanced cleaning measures, plans for special concession services, and more.

“It’s a complicated rollout, with various states, cities and counties opening their venues in different phases,” Fandango president Paul Yanover said in a press release.

Several big theater chains have faced criticism over the last few days because of original reopening plans. AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas originally listed masks as optional for guests, but they quickly changed their policies after public outcry. Getting audiences into movie theaters during a pandemic may already be difficult — hence why studios like Warner Bros., Disney, Universal, and Viacom have delayed their biggest films. Many people on social media noted that without proper safety protocols in place, like mandatory face coverings, they’d be very unlikely to buy a movie ticket anytime soon.

Theater reopenings are still contingent on state guidelines. Some will open ahead of the summer’s planned big releases, including Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and Disney’s Mulan. Some, however, will remain closed. Fandango’s new feature is designed to give people quick access to finding out what’s happening at your local theater and how you can stay safe if you do decide to venture out.

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