Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Signs of activity at iPic, Regal theaters even as MoCo ban on food, drink sales remains in place

There's no indication Montgomery County's ban on concessions sales at movie theaters will be lifted anytime soon, but a couple of theater chains are showing signs of preparing for reopening. Regal Cinemas already announced a tentative reopening date for its Montgomery County cineplexes next month, in an apparent gamble that the ban on the sale of food and drink will be lifted by then. Workers began sprucing up the exterior of the Regal Cinemas Majestic & IMAX theater in downtown Silver Spring on Monday. And iPic at Pike & Rose is now hiring servers for its in-movie food and drink service, a clear indication that the luxury theater chain believes the ban will be revoked in the coming weeks.

Tarps on the sidewalk outside the Regal Cinemas
Majestic & IMAX theater in Silver Spring, where
workers are touching up the exterior

However, a list of potential steps in loosening restrictions at County businesses released by the County Council does not specifically mention movie theaters or performance venues - nor the ban on food and drink - among the relaxed rules. Only at Phase 3, which will be reached when 50% of the county population is fully vaccinated, could theaters sell food and drink because the County will belatedly adopt the current state guidelines at that point. Under the current ban, which eliminates the most profitable revenue source for theaters, only AMC has reopened its theaters in the county.


  1. They would be able to sell food and drinks in phase 2. FROM THE REOPENING PLAN "at 60% of the population receiving at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine; most businesses move to 75% capacity and may sell food and drink for consumption while seated"