Movie theaters are suffering across the globe. Due to the coronavirus, all major theaters across the United States are currently closed. AMC expects to be back in business in the next six to ten weeks, but that’s not a guarantee. In the meantime, because of their financial losses, AMC Theaters has furloughed 600 employees from their headquarters in Leawood, Kansas.
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According to AMC, the furlough plan involves less hours with reduced pay for corporate AMC employees. They’ll keep active employment status and health benefits. For now, people working four days a week will get 80% of their salary. Part-time workers, such as two days a week, will get 40% of their salary.
For a while, AMC Theaters did what they could to remain open during the pandemic. They only filled half their theaters, attempting to encourage social distancing. They cleaned their theaters down more thoroughly than ever. Then AMC Theaters along with every other theater was forced to shut down in the United States since crowds larger than 10 people is a terrible idea. For now, AMC’s 630 theaters will remain closed for the next six to twelve weeks. Hopefully, AMC is back in business by June 5th.
Previously, AMC Entertainment furloughed 26,000 employees out of its 27,000 employees. Now, those theater staffers are suffering as a result. According to AMC, they’re paying these employees as much as they possibly can. For anyone with a health plan, they’ll keep those benefits as long as the shutdown continues. The hope is, there’s a company for them to come back to.
$2 Trillion Stimulus Package
The National Theater Owners Association has been lobbying to receive assistance from the new $2 trillion stimulus package. It’s still now clear how the package will help out theaters across the nation, but the head of the theater owners association, John Fithian, is confident theaters will count as a distressed business in the eyes of the U.S. Treasury.
President Trump has said he’d like America to be back in business by Easter weekend, likely meaning reopening theaters, bars, and restaurants. Whether states go along with that idea, we’ll have to wait and see. Medical experts have expressed serious doubt over opening businesses back up by Easter, which would lead to further outbreaks and spreading of the coronavirus.
AMC’s Statement Regarding Furloughs
Last week, AMC announced that because of the coronavirus outbreak we were closing all of our more than 600 U.S. theatres, which means that all 1000 AMC and Odeon theatres around the world are now closed, and will be closed for the immediate future.
This leaves AMC with no revenue, and substantial fixed costs that continue. At this time, AMC is not terminating any of its corporate employees, however, we were forced under the circumstances to implement a furlough plan, which is absolutely necessary to preserve cash and to ensure that AMC can reopen our doors once this health crisis has dissipated.
The furlough plan calls for reduced working hours at reduced pay, or no working hours at no pay, for the hopefully short period of time when AMC’s theatres are all closed. This action impacts every corporate AMC employee, including all those at the highest executive levels and including AMC’s chief executive officer.
All the furloughed corporate AMC associates will retain their active employment status with AMC, including all health benefits.
As we all know, these are unprecedented times. AMC is doing everything possible to ensure that we can welcome back both our associates and our guests as our theatres reopen.