Movie theaters push back reopenings yet again

June 30, 2020 - 12:06 pm

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Some recently reopened Kansas restaurants are closing, Regal and AMC Theaters are pushing back their plans to reopen, and the state is preparing to require masks anywhere that social distancing is impossible as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases rises.

Among the restaurants to close is Thao’s Bistro in Wichita in the 1800 block of S. Broadway, which reopened for dine-in patrons on June 2.

“While we are super excited to be open, at the same time we are very concerned about the rapidly increasing cases of COVID-19,” the owners of Thao’s Bistro said in announcing on Facebook that the restaurant was closing again starting Monday. “We hope things will improve and we will see you all very soon.”

Meanwhile, Peerless, a bar in Wichita's Old Town, said on Facebook that it would not open on Fridays and Saturdays, saying that times are “unsure" and that it wanted to wanted to promote “communal health" during the coronavirus crisis.

On Monday, the state reported more than 14,400 coronavirus cases, an increase of 905 confirmed cases since Friday. The state also added six more deaths to its count Monday, bringing the total to 270.

The number of cases tied to gatherings jumped by 59, health department data shows. The state also reported 23 more cases in long-term care facilities and 16 in meatpacking plants. Most cases, though, weren’t tied to an existing cluster.

With the numbers rising, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced Monday that she was making masks mandatory starting Friday in stores, restaurants and in any situation where social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained, including outside. Douglas and Wyandotte counties in the northeast part of the state were already requiring masks.

Regal, which operates Wichita's Warren Theatres, is now delaying its reopening until July 31.

AMC Theaters, the nation’s largest chain, said Monday that it was delaying its plans to reopen theaters by two weeks. The Leawood, Kansas-based company said it would open approximately 450 U.S. locations on July 30 and the remaining 150 the following week.

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