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By Joey Nolfi
October 19, 2020 at 10:02 AM EDT
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AMC Theatres is offering guests a private, VIP experience amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The megaplex chain announced it will allow customers to rent out an entire auditorium for as low as $99 and as much as $349, with guests permitted to bring up to 20 attendees with them for their own personal screening.

AMC initiated the measure to combat ongoing theater restrictions around the country, as the spread of COVID-19 has tallied record losses — and sustained theater closures in states like California and New York — for the movie industry. Other chains — like the Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse — have rolled out similar theater rental programs, though AMC competitor Regal has suspended operations (impacting 40,000 employees) due to the pandemic.

According to the company's Security and Exchange Commission filing earlier this year, the theater company had suspended all of its theatrical operations worldwide through June, "generating no revenue from admissions, food and beverage sales, or other revenue" as a result. Further complicating business for theater chains, movie studios have delayed many major releases to 2021, including the James Bond sequel No Time to Die, Denis Villeneuve's Dune, and the Marvel spin-off Black Widow.

In a press release issued Monday, AMC also announced it will begin opening select theaters in the state of New York, with roughly one dozen upstate and Long Island locations resuming operations (with strict cleaning measures in place) this Friday. Though New York City theaters remain closed, AMC stressed that it is working closely with authorities to reopen theaters there soon.

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