Honest Review: Going Back to the Movies

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AMC Theaters Review

September 12 was my first Saturday night back at the movies since before the pandemic, and while I did not return to AMC to see a movie produced from under the Disney or Universal umbrellas, I think it’s important to take a minute and share with readers about what it is like, especially if many of you have been wanting to go back recently.

Overall, I give my moviegoing experience two big thumbs up. It was clean; it had safety measures in place. But sadly, it was really empty.

My cousin and I went to go see an 8:00 p.m. showing of Christopher Nolan’s new movie Tenet. Before the shutdown, I remember my local AMC theater being packed to the gills on a Saturday night. This Saturday, it was all but deserted.

Empty AMC theaters
Credit: ITM Reporter TJ Muscaro

It was a weird feeling walking back into that theater, but it was only weird in that it was so empty. I felt completely safe and comfortable.

My cousin and I were two of no more than 10 people in the auditorium watching the movie. The hallways from the ticket booths were divided into two, one-way lanes and the median features both hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipe dispensers so you can wipe down your seat.

Health and Safety Measures, AMC
Credit: ITM Reporter TJ Muscaro

The theater and auditorium were as clean as I have ever seen them, and it appeared to me that they were ready for people to come back. We were asked to keep our masks on for the entirety of the movie unless we were actively eating and drinking.

My cousin, IG: @patbudisak, in the empty auditorium
Credit: ITM Reporter TJ Muscaro

My cousin and I split an extra-large popcorn with extra butter and relaxed as much as the movie would let us. As a lifelong moviegoer, it felt absolutely amazing to be back in that seat and I am so grateful that my local AMC theater–AMC West Shore 14 in Tampa, Florida–was able to hang on through the closure and reopen!

It was in this AMC theater that I watched every Harry Potter film for the first time. It is where I cried like a baby during Toy Story 3, and saw Finding DoryI was in this theater for every single installment of the MCU’s Infinity Saga, and it was here where I returned to Isla Nublar for both Jurassic World and Fallen Kingdom.

The last Disney movie I saw in that theaters was Toy Story 4 (I saw Frozen II while I was out of town, and I am not a fan of the live-action remakes). Happy and comfortable with my return to the theaters, I wait anxiously look forward to 2021 when the next one, Raya and the Last Dragon, finally debuts.

While I know not all movie theaters are created equal, I encourage all of my fellow moviegoers to go out as soon as they feel comfortable and help keep this beautiful American tradition of going to the movies alive.

Have you been back to the movies yet? What was it like? What did you see? Let us know in the comments!

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Inside the Magic overall.

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