Americans love a hot deal, even if it’s just one of those Black Friday deals that is only hot because a nearby sign and the trampled remains of your fellow shoppers say it is, so it stands to reason that one of the ways companies will be able to get consumers out of their homes and back out on the COVID-riddled streets of this country is by offering some fabulously deep discounts. The question we’re all going to have to ask ourselves, then, is just how good will a deal have to be to convince us to put our lives—and the lives of everyone we could conceivably come into contact—with at risk. The early return of Honda Days? Some kind of Double McRib with a Shamrock Shake in the middle? Well, how about paying 15 cents to see an older movie that you could easily stream at home for free without getting the coronavirus?
If that one piqued your interest, you’re in luck: That’s exactly what AMC Theatres will be offering when it opens 100 of its U.S. locations on August 20, with the Associated Press explaining that it’s part of a “Movies In 2020 At 1920s Prices” promotional event. (Referencing 1920 may seem like an odd choice, since the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed untold millions of people was still hanging around for the first few months of that year, but maybe AMC is assuming nobody will have any reason to associate this deal with a deadly virus.) The available movies will include Ghostbusters, Black Panther, Back To The Future, and Grease, but the 15-cent tickets will only be available on August 20. After that, the prices will go up to $5. It also may seem odd to incentivize people to go to theaters on one specific day, since bigger groups of people means a higher risk for spreading the virus, but maybe this is all part of AMC’s plan to test how well its anti-coronavirus procedures will work.
Of course, being one of the first people to go into any public space during this pandemic will involve a certain level of guinea pig-ism, but we’ll have to wait until next week to see how many people are willing to pay 15 cents for that right.