At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. movie theaters were among the first “non-essential” businesses to shut down as citizens were urged to stay at home. Months later, as we see the reopening of gyms and outdoor restaurants, the fate of cinemas is still up in the air. AMC has plans to reopen over 100 U.S. locations Thursday, August 20, with an incentive of $0.15 tickets. Despite this tempting proposal, some health officials urge that it’s not worth it. According to these experts, going to a movie theater simply isn’t safe right now.

In an interview with the A.V. Club, UCLA epidemiologist Dr. Anne W. Rimoin warns American citizens to avoid cinemas at (nearly) all costs. “Short of renting out an entire theater, which is obviously not an option for most of us, there is no scenario in which going to a movie theater is a good idea,” she states. As a matter of fact, renting a theater is an option in certain states. Cinemark and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema are both offering deals where you can rent out an auditorium for a private screening. Rimoin also encourages drive-ins and outdoor screenings, which she describes as “innovative and exciting.”

Technically, movie theaters are currently allowed to operate in 44 states. However, each state has its own set of regulations for how many theaters are allowed to be open, as well as the protocol that takes place once inside. Russell Crowe plans to bring his movie Unhinged to theaters across the country August 21. Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is slated for a September 3 wide release, with select cities premiering the thriller on August 31. And Fox’s long, long awaited New Mutants, based on the X-Men spinoff, is coming August 26.

Considering the warnings from government and health officials alike, isn’t this just a tad too fast? To physician andepidemiologist Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, the risks far outweigh the reward. Said El-Sayed: “It’s just about the last thing I'd do right now.”

Gallery — What We Miss Most About Going To Movie Theaters:

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