Dallas Movie Theater Cleaning Services and Sanitation Strategies
Dallas, TX Movie Theater Reopenings
As of May 1, Governor Greg Abbott gave movie theater owners the green light to reopen their doors and welcome back audiences.
However, most movie theater chains are not yet ready to start selling tickets again. One primary reason for this is that COVID-19 has halted movie production, so there aren’t many new movies coming down the pipe.
Once the studios are ready to resume operations for theatrical film releases, movie theaters may begin to plan and prepare for reopening.
Such plans should include health and safety measures that prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, including a complete movie theater cleaning.
Our goal is to help Dallas area businesses successfully prepare for reopening once they are ready. A comprehensive reopening strategy should include modifying your standard operating procedure to adopt the current official guidelines for virus spread prevention.
We’ll go over best practices to maintain a safe and healthy theater facility that provides your guests and staff with a secure environment in light of COVID-19 concerns.
Safety Precautions to Protect Your Customers
Once you reopen, the goal is to minimize communal health risks. This plan is three-pronged: increased thorough cleanings, routine sanitation throughout the operating hours, and direction on how people can help prevent the spread.
General Health Protocol
For businesses that have been closed seven days or longer, the CDC Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Businesses recommends a complete and thorough cleaning.
SERVPRO is prepared to do a comprehensive professional movie theater cleaning of your facility in preparation for welcoming patrons. Our IICRC trained technicians use CDC-recommended and EPA-registered disinfectants.
Below are the guidelines from the Texas Movie Theater Reopening Checklist.
- “High touch” areas should be regularly and frequently disinfected. Think of door handles, counters, bathroom fixtures, etc.
- Regularly disinfect any items or surfaces that come in contact with the public.
- Self-serve hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap, or other similar disinfectants should be furnished throughout the facility so that they may be readily available to employees, contractors, and customers for hygiene maintenance, as needed.
- Place signage in areas of high visibility that remind staff and customers of what role they play in virus spread prevention measures. These signs may include social distancing reminders, policies about non-admission of affected persons, reminders to cough and sneeze into the elbow, increased hand-washing, where to find hand sanitizer, etc.
- Clean and disinfect communal areas between uses. In the case of a movie theater, this would mainly be the individual screening theaters. Allow ample time between showings to fully disinfect the seats, armrests, etc.
- Designate a staff member to monitor the shift to ensure that employees and customers are abiding by the protocols and that the policies are being properly implemented.
Special Considerations for Guests
If you’ve ever been to a sold-out movie, you’ll remember how close you end up sitting to complete strangers. So the concern with theaters is that cramped quarters with limited ventilation are prone to the spread of germs. For this reason, adjustments should be made to seating arrangements.
Below are more suggestions from the Texas Department of State Health Services on how to promote health and safety best practices once reopening to the public.
- Utilize remote ticketing options to manage capacity limitations. (Current capacity is set at 25% and using an automated system prevents ticket sales from breaking the set threshold.)
- To ensure proper spacing, keep at least two empty seats (or six feet separation) between parties in any row with the following exceptions:
- Two or more members of the same household may sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet separation) empty on either side.
- Two individuals who are not members of the same household but who are attending together may sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet separation) empty on either side.
- Alternate rows between customers (every other row is empty to create a buffer).
- Disinfect seats and “high touch” areas between screenings.
- For movie theaters providing food service to patrons:
- Do not leave condiments, silverware, flatware, glassware, or other traditional tabletop items on an unoccupied table.
- Provide condiments or flatware only in single-use, individually wrapped items, and provide condiments only upon request.
- Clean and disinfect the area used for eating (tables, counters, etc.) between waves of guests.
- For in-theater food service:
- When procedures require patrons to write down their own order, provide single-use pencils and notepads. Prevent the public from sharing pencils and paper.
- Use disposable menus (new for each patron).
- Wait staff must sanitize and wash hands between interactions with customers.
- Movie theaters with counter food service for patrons:
- Have employees and contractors follow proper food-handling protocols.
- Disinfect any items that come into contact with customers.
- Contactless payment is encouraged. Where not available, contact should be minimized.
Dallas Health Protocols for Employee Safety
When it comes to the successful implementation of new policies, employees play a critical role in a safe and confident reopening. Expectations and procedures should be clearly communicated both in writing and in retraining.
Below are policy guidelines from the Texas Department of State Health Services on how to promote health and safety best practices when training your staff.
- All movie theater employees and contractors should be consistently trained in best practices. This consists of appropriate cleaning/disinfection procedures, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
- All movie theater employees or contractors should be screened for symptoms prior to or upon arrival at the facility.
- Any movie theater employee or contractor who presents symptoms of COVID-19 should be sent home. These symptoms are:
- Sore throat.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100F.
- Chills/shaking with chills.
- Muscle aches.
- Losing the ability to taste or smell.
- Close contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19.
- Affected employees or contractors may return to work once 72 hours have passed since recovery.
- Criteria for employees or contractors to return post-COVID diagnosis are as follows:
- 10 days passed since the symptoms were first presented.
- The disappearance of symptoms (cough, shortness of breath).
- Symptoms absent without the aid of fever-reducing medication.
- Employees or contractors who seem likely to have COVID-19 and do not get a medical evaluation or COVID-19 testing should be considered as a positive case of COVID-19. Thus, they cannot return to work until they meet the three-step criteria listed above or receive clearance from a medical professional before the 10-day window closes.
- Employees and contractors should notify the business of close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Before returning to work, such individuals must self-quarantine and remain symptom-free until 14 days have passed since the date of the most recent contact.
- Employees and contractors must wash or sanitize their hands immediately upon entry to the theater.
- Employees and contractors should remain at least 6 feet from one another.
- If social distancing is not feasible among staff, face-covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness, and sanitation should be stringently practiced.
- Movie theaters that provide meals for employees and/or contractors should opt for individually packaged food and utensils rather than serving meals buffet-style.
- When feasible, employees should consider wearing non-medical grade face masks.
- Any movie theater cleaning services should wear the appropriate PPE (masks and gloves) and follow disinfectant use with rigorous handwashing.
Consider integrating policies and practices recommendations from all regulatory agencies (governmental, industry, and corporate) when piecing together your modified standard operating procedures.
It’s also a good idea to ask your experienced management and staff members for their input on how to best meet the health and safety needs of your particular facility.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Theater Facility
Various areas of the theater need special attention:
- “High touch” areas: Washed and sanitized regularly.
- Kiosks/point of sale systems: Wiped down with an electronics-sensitive wipe.
- Mats/rugs: Fibrous rugs that trap germs should be replaced with washable ones.
Below are facility cleaning recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Gloves should be worn when cleaning and disinfecting.
- First clean surfaces using soap and water, then follow up with disinfectant. Cleaning with soap and water cuts down the number of germs, dirt, and impurities. The disinfecting step kills germs that remain on surfaces.
- “High touch” surfaces should be regularly and routinely cleaned. The more often an item or surface is used, the more frequent cleaning and disinfection should be applied.
- “High touch” surfaces: countertops, desks, doorknobs, faucets, handles, keyboards, light switches, phones, sinks, tables, toilets, etc.
- Public use surfaces and objects (point-of-sale keypads) should be cleaned and disinfected between uses.
- Communal areas should be regularly cleaned and disinfected by staff.
- Staff should be well-trained in the appropriate use of cleaning and disinfection chemicals. This includes:
- Wear disposable gloves throughout the cleaning process (this includes handling trash).
- Require additional personal protective equipment (PPE) when needed for certain chemicals or splash risk.
- Remove gloves carefully to avoid personal contamination or contamination of the surrounding area.
- Immediately wash your hands after removing gloves or after being in contact with someone who has symptoms of illness.
- When soap and water are not available and hands do not appear dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) may be used to clean hands. Soap and water is the proper way to clean hands that are visibly dirty.
EPA-registered household disinfectant products are the best for sanitizing surfaces. Read instructions thoroughly before use. Some disinfectants may call for keeping surfaces wet, wearing gloves, or using ventilation.
Diluted household bleach solutions and alcohol solutions with at least 70% of alcohol may be used as a disinfectant alternative. When properly diluted, household bleach that is not expired is effective against coronaviruses.
4 teaspoons bleach to a quart of water
5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach to a gallon of water
Best Practices for Using Bleach:
- Look for an expiration date. Bleach that is expired will not be effective.
- Consult the label to determine if the bleach product is intended for use as a disinfectant. (Some laundry bleaches may not be suitable as a disinfectant.)
- Thoroughly read and follow manufacturer’s instructions for use including application and proper ventilation. Do not mix household bleach with any other cleaning product.
- Leave the bleach solution on surfaces for at least 1 minute to complete the sanitation process.
- Bleach solutions effectively disinfect surfaces for up to 24 hours.
(Soft surfaces are carpeted floors, rugs, and drapes.)
- Vacuum as usual.
- Clean all “soft surfaces” using soap and water or other appropriate cleaners.
- Disinfect with EPA-registered household disinfectants effective against COVID-19.
- When applicable, launder items according to manufacturer instructions at the warmest water temperature setting allowed and allow items to dry completely.
(Electronics are ticket kiosks, tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines.)
- When feasible, affix wipeable covers to electronics.
- Consult manufacturer instructions for appropriate cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
- If no specific guidance is provided for the device, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays that contain at least 70% alcohol.
Cleaning & Disinfecting A Dallas Building Or Facility In The Event Of An Illness
In the event of a COVID case on the premises, businesses do not necessarily need to close operations. Close off those areas affected by the sick person.
- Increase air circulation in the area by opening doors and windows.
- Wait before you clean and disinfect the affected areas (ideally, 24 hours).
- If the area is normally vacuumed, use one equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Wait until the room or space is vacated to start vacuuming.
- Clean and disinfect all areas and surfaces the person who is sick may have used or touched.
- When feasible, temporarily turn off fans and the HVAC systems that circulate the air in the affected room or space. This prevents particles from spreading throughout the facility.
- Once the affected area has been given the appropriate waiting time and has been disinfected, it can be reopened for use.
- Workers who have made close contact with the sick person should self-quarantine per company policies.
Again, remember to include corporate and industry guidelines when updating your policies.
Monitor the following websites for the latest advisories:
Dallas Movie Theater Cleaning and Sanitation Services
SERVPRO is here to help Dallas-area movie theaters confidently prepare for reopening.
Knowing that the facility has been thoroughly cleaned by trained professionals enables your staff to work with confidence and reassures your customers that your theater is safe and clean.
What We Offer:
- We are a trusted name in commercial cleaning for the Dallas area with 34 years of superior cleaning and sanitation services in Dallas, TX.
- Round-the-clock 24/7 services for emergencies (such as an on-site confirmed case of Coronavirus) or overnight scheduling to work around lengthy theater hours.
- SERVPRO is the most recognized biohazard cleanup and restoration brand in the nation. Our IICRC trained technicians and industrial disinfectants have been trusted by international airports and federal agencies to prepare spaces for safe and sound use. Our effective disinfecting services meet the needs of any sized facility in any kind of situation. (Including expertise with Dallas restaurant coronavirus cleaning and Dallas retail store coronavirus cleaning.)
- Our uncompromising safety and hygiene standards mean we protect our MVPs: our staff. We insist that our technicians have the proper PPE while on site. Other cleaning companies are cheaper, but they are likely cutting back on PPE to be able to quote lower prices.
With SERVPRO of North Irving, it’s always safety first!
- Professional bioremediation and commercial cleaning services to thoroughly clean, disinfect, and sanitize all areas with CDC-recommended & EPA-registered disinfectants for porous and non-porous surfaces, and walls up to 8 feet.
- Moisture-sensitive surfaces will be hand-wiped with a disinfectant-wet towelette.
- Present to your patrons a certificate that your property was completely cleaned by SERVPRO.
- Social media announcement from us announcing your cinema cleaning has been completed and your theater is ready to safely and securely re-open.
- Facility refresh services include:
- Air duct cleaning with new A/C filters
- HEPA air scrubbing
- Upholstery cleaning (such as cinema seat cleaning)
- Carpet cleaning
We’re here to help movie theaters have a confident and successful reopening. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have about facility sanitation, cleaning products, or to get started with our complimentary cleaning estimate.
Call us at (972) 986-7677 or fill out our quick and easy contact form anytime!