AMC Avenue 16 returns to in-person, big-screen experience

AMC Avenue 16 is at 2241 Town Center Ave. in The Avenue Viera.

With more Brevard County residents getting the COVID-19 vaccines, fans can once again return to the movie theaters this summer.

Moviegoers can return to AMC Avenue 16 in The Avenue Viera to see the latest releases and those movies held back because of the pandemic.

According to the company’s website — amctheatres.com — and in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control guidelines, masks are not required for fully vaccinated guests.

However, if you are not fully vaccinated, the company — the nation’s largest movie chain — asks that you continue to wear a mask throughout the theater unless actively enjoying food or drinks. If needed, masks are available to purchase for $1.

Movie theaters, including AMC Avenue 16, closed its doors a year ago as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe. While some movie theaters have opened over the past few months with limited capacity and enhanced safety protocols, AMC’s reopening means more people will have more locations to choose from if they want to see a film on the big screen.

“I think it’s great they’re open,” said Cheryl Roe of Melbourne. “They’re separating people in the theater. There’s nobody in front or behind you.”

“It feels great to be back,” said Edinnette Rosario of Palm Bay.

AMC’s announcement is welcomed by movie fans not only because more of them will get to return to AMC’s reclining seats and stadium-style format, but because it means the company has, hopefully, put the worst behind it. It was only last June that AMC cautioned it may not survive the coronavirus pandemic, as its theaters closed and film studios started releasing more movies directly to viewers on streaming services.

But AMC stayed the course, slowly opening its theaters over the past several months when it was allowed to and pivoting its business. According to its website, one outside-the-box moves included renting out theaters for private movie screenings to a limited number of people.

Cozetta Smith, AMC’s manager of corporate communications, said in an effort to program its theaters as efficiently as possible, some locations may temporarily have limited weekday hours to meet current business levels.

Currently, AMC Avenue 16 is running a limited schedule of movie times, mostly late afternoon and evening hours. Prior to the pandemic, AMC Avenue 16 employed about 40 people. In June, the theater had only eight employees.

“AMC consistently reviews guest demand in all of our markets, and as business levels begin to pick up throughout the summer as more films make their way to the big screen, we expect operating hours to expand, giving the theater the opportunity to schedule earlier or later as needed,” she said.

AMC public relations director Ryan Noonan explained in a news release that more theaters reopening will mean more jobs. He said the company is welcoming back employees who were working for it prior to theaters being shut down, as well as bringing in new workers. All will be trained on its cleaning and safety protocols, which include social distancing and automatic seat blocking in each theater, mandatory mask wearing, hand-sanitizing stations, upgraded air filtration, contactless ticketing and mobile ordering for food and drinks.

In addition, the company reports that once you’re in the auditorium, if you are uncomfortable in your reserved seat, you can see an associate for assistance in moving to another location.

AMC Avenue 16 is at 2241 Town Center Ave. in The Avenue Viera. The general manager is Matt Prosser. 

For more information about the theater and showtimes, visit amctheatres.com/movie-theatres/orlando-daytona-beach/amc-avenue-16