With the nation’s movie theaters slowly reopening, online ticket seller Fandango has launched a program aimed at helping audiences go back to theaters.
“We are working closely with our friends in exhibition to help get their ticketing back online and film fans back in seats with peace of mind,” said Melissa Heller, Fandango’s VP of domestic ticketing.
The company, owned by NBCUniversal, announced that its website and mobile apps will begin including social distance seating maps, a one-stop guide to safety policies provided by more than 100 theater chains. It will also have a special search filter to find reopened theaters by location, auditorium occupancy and social distance seating, mask and protective equipment policies, enhanced cleaning measures and special concession services.
“At Fandango, our mission has always been super-serving fans with their entertainment needs, and we cannot wait to help fans get back to the big screen safely and at the right time,” said Fandango president Paul Yanover. “It’s a complicated rollout, with various states, cities and counties opening their venues in different phases. We hope Fandango will serve as a helpful one-stop resource for fans to find all the information and services they need for a comfortable return to their local theaters.”
Currently, 217 drive-in locations in the U.S. are open along with 681 other venues showing movies, according to box office tracker Comscore. Most of the nation’s 5,400 movie theaters have been closed since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first new movie to open will be Russell Crowe’s “Unhinged” on July 10, followed by Sony’s “The Broken Hearts Gallery” on July 17. Disney’s “Mulan” debuts on July 24, while Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” launches the next weekend on July 31.
Fandango said Tuesday it will also mobilize many of its other digital properties, including Rotten Tomatoes and Movieclips on YouTube, as part of the campaign along with original content celebrating the moviegoing experience. The company also said it’s extending expired rewards for its Loyalty Plus program for an additional 60 days.