Despite Gov. Brian Kemp allowing cinemas to reopen Monday under new guidelines, it appears no movie theater popcorn is being buttered in Cobb County just yet.
Theaters in Marietta, Kennesaw, Acworth, Cumberland, east Cobb and Austell remain closed until further notice, according to their respective websites and social media accounts.
In most cases, no one was answering phones at Cobb cinema locations when the MDJ called Monday. Instead, automated voice messages deferred to cinema websites before disconnecting.
Theater staff the MDJ managed to speak with over the phone Monday said there were no plans at this stage to reopen, for a number of reasons.
Social distancing requirements are not easy in a movie theater environment, one staffer said, adding there likely won’t be any new film releases until late July, with studios postponing release dates until more theaters are likely to be open nationwide.
Examples of this include Disney postponing its release of Mulan from late March to July 24, and Warner Bros postponing its release of Wonder Woman 1984 from June 5 to Aug. 14, as recently announced by those studios.
In Cobb, NCG Cinema operates theaters on Cinema Drive in Acworth and Powder Springs Street in Marietta, both of which are closed until further notice, per the company’s website.
“NCG Cinema has made the difficult decision to suspend all operations at all NCG locations until further notice,” the website states.
AMC also operates two cinema complexes in Cobb: AMC Barrett Commons on Cobb Place Lane in Kennesaw and AMC Parkway Pointe 15 on Cobb Parkway in Cumberland. Both remain closed.
“All AMC theaters are temporarily closed in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines,” the company website states. “They will reopen when these guidelines allow.”
Regal operates two cinemas in Cobb, on East-West Connector in Austell and on Town Center Drive in Kennesaw. They are also closed until further notice, per Regal’s website.
In east Cobb, Merchants Walk Cinemas on Johnson Ferry Road, operated by Georgia Theatre Company, is also closed until further notice.
“We will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation very closely and will post the latest company news on our website,” the GTC website states. “We will open to the public as soon as we can and will provide a safe and clean environment for you to enjoy all of your favorite movies in a communal setting.”
Picture Show at Merchants Exchange on Roswell Road in east Cobb is also closed until further notice, per its website.
“You can expect updates on the status of all Picture Show theaters here on our website and via Facebook and Twitter,” the website states. “We will release reopening dates and new showtime details as soon as they become available.”
Elsewhere in the metro Atlanta area, some drive-in movie theater locations are open for people to watch screenings from their vehicles while maintaining a safe social distance.
The Starlight Drive-In Theatre on Moreland Avenue in Atlanta is open for screenings, although the snack bar is closed, per its website.