Even if you’re a cinema junkie, going to a public movie theater may well be the last thing on your social to-do list during a pandemic—but you can now rent out theaters for private screenings for a reasonable cost.
Cinemas have struggled alongside the rest of the entertainment industry with shutdowns and social distancing, which is why several companies, including AMC and Cinemark, have opened their doors to small, private group gatherings.
Here’s how to rent a private movie theater.
Rent out an AMC theater
AMC Theatres is renting its auditoriums for groups of up to 20 people at a starting price of $99 (plus tax). Depending on the movie and location, prices may go up to $349. These are the films currently available for private showings:
- 2 Hearts
- The Conjuring
- The Conjuring 2
- The Curse of La Llorona
- Hocus Pocus
- Honest Thief
- How to Train Your Dragon
- Jumanji: The Next Level
- Jurassic Park
- Monsters, Inc.
- The New Mutants
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- The War With Grandpa
To book, you’ll fill out an online form with your desired movie and preferred date, time and theater location. AMC says it may take 3 days to review your request, and advises you to finalize your booking at least a week in advance.
You can customize your experience, too: add concessions (popcorn and drink vouchers sold at an extra cost), rent a microphone so you can personally welcome your guests ($100), or nix the 15 minutes of previews before your film.
Rent out a Cinemark theater
Cinemark is also renting out its theaters for private groups. The company has a $99 deal similar to AMC’s (with $49 promos in some locations on certain nights), but the process is a little different; you’ll book all the tickets for an existing public showtime instead. Since these bookings are limited, they may be sold out in your area. Check what’s available at your nearest cinema.
Otherwise, Cinemark also offers what they call premium private screenings, which are more customizable (and more expensive) rental packages.
Check your local theaters
Your local theater or regional theater chain may also be doing private parties—Harkins (locations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas) and Megaplex (Utah) offer such screening packages, for example.