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Regal, AMC theaters reopening in Fort Myers, Naples, Port Charlotte

Regal Bell Tower 20 has been closed since March. The south Fort Myers theater plans to reopen Friday, Aug. 21, along with three other Regal theaters in Southwest Florida.
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Many of Southwest Florida’s biggest movie theaters plan to reopen soon for the first time in months.

Theater chain Regal expects to start reopening its theaters nationwide on Friday, Aug. 21, including four theaters in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties. Tickets are on sale now. 

Meanwhile, AMC plans to reopen its Merchants Crossing 16 theater in North Fort Myers on Aug. 27, according to the theater’s website. Many other AMC theaters nationwide will reopen Thursday, Aug. 20.

Both theater chains closed nationwide in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Regal theaters plans to open these Southwest Florida theaters on Aug. 21: Regal Belltower and ScreenX in south Fort Myers; Regal Naples 4DX & IMAX in North Naples; Regal Gulf Coast & IMAX in San Carlos Park; and Regal Town Center in Port Charlotte.

Those will be followed Friday, Aug. 28, by Regal Coconut Point in Estero, according to the theater’s website.

Cape Coral’s Marquee Cinemas Coralwood 10 hasn’t announced its opening date yet, but it looks like that will be soon. The theater has started advertising to hire managers and service staff on its website and Facebook page.

AMC and Regal have pushed back their reopening plans several times this year, citing both a surge in coronavirus cases nationwide and delays in some of the summer’s biggest blockbusters.

Many movies have been postponed or taken off the schedule due to the increase in COVID-19 cases nationwide. That includes tentpoles such as Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” (now expected Sept. 3), “Wonder Woman 1984” (Oct. 2), the James Bond movie “No Time to Die” (Nov. 20) and Disney’s “Mulan” (now skipping movie theaters entirely and debuting Sept. 4 on Disney Plus).

Cape Coral’s Marquee Cinemas Coralwood 10 hasn’t announced its opening date yet, but it looks like that will be soon. The theater has started advertising to hire managers and service staff on its website and Facebook page.

Cape Coral's Coralwood 10 movie theater

Several other theaters haven’t announced reopening plans yet, including Luxe 8 Flix in Fort Myers, Silverspot Cinema in Naples, Beach Theater in Fort Myers and Paragon Theaters in Naples.

Prado Stadium 12 in Bonita Springs reopened in June and has remained open. It was the first Southwest Florida theater to reopen after Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the second phase of Florida’s economic reopening on June 3.

Florida theaters are currently allowed to operate at half capacity.

In case you missed it:Ghost lights burn in SWFL theaters during pandemic, a sign of hope. Plus the ghosts like ’em

Read more: What events have canceled, postponed in SWFL?

Regal has posted details on its website about what customers can expect when its theaters reopen. The many changes include:

  • New contact-less payment options, such as the ability to buy tickets and concession items using the Regal mobile app.
  • New sanitizing procedures and methods, including ULV Foggers. “Employees will sanitize every auditorium and seat after each movie using new electrostatic ‘fogger’ equipment,” the website says. “This form of deep sanitization is highly effective in disinfecting all materials with a non-toxic formula that is fast drying.”
  • Daily health screenings for employees, including “temperature checks where mandated.” Employees must also wear masks and wash their hands every 30 to 60 minutes, at least, “dependent on job role.”
  • Guests required to wear face masks in the lobby, hallways and restrooms. They can remove them inside the auditorium while eating and drinking.
  • And limits to concessions and self-service options, including no refills on drinks and popcorn, a reduced menu and the closing of self-serve condiment stands.

According to the Merchants Crossing website, the North Fort Myers theater will reopen with AMC’s new Safe & Clean policies. Auditoriums will only be filled to 30 percent capacity, and masks will be required for all employees and visitors unless they’re eating or drinking.

Tickets for Merchants Crossing aren’t available yet.

Connect with this reporter: Charles Runnells (Facebook), @charlesrunnells (Twitter), @crunnells1 (Instagram)

Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,

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