Cleaning and Disinfection Strategies for Movie Theaters

Cleaning and Disinfection Strategies for Movie Theaters

Outsourcing your movie theater's cleaning and disinfection needs will ensure a safer, healthier, and more profitable business.


Outsourcing Movie Theater Cleaning Services Improves Profits

Several recent studies have shown that movie theaters, regardless of size or quality, are covered in germs, bacteria, and fecal matter.

The reason for this issue is two-fold:

  1. The volume of foot traffic, and;
  2. The lack of necessary time, training, and equipment required to thoroughly clean and disinfect the facilities on a regular basis.

This has resulted in an accumulation of filth throughout the entire establishment to such an absurd degree it borders on the cliched.

Consider for a moment the state of an industry, where online safety checklists are provided for potential patrons that essentially advise touching nothing and avoiding the consumption of nearly every food item sold at the concession stand.

No part of that concept speaks towards healthy growth, longevity, or profit margins, and significantly diminishes the movie-going experience at a time when streaming movie services have gained a massive portion of the market share.

Unfortunately, a declining customer base is not the only force exuding downward pressure on profits.

The absence of an experienced custodial team equipped with the necessary tools and cleaning products will negatively impact the profits and productivity of theaters in several ways, including:

  • Chronically ill employees.
  • A lack of employee engagement.
  • High employee turnover.
  • High levels of job dissatisfaction.
  • Upset customers, and;
  • Poor publicity.

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Green Cleaning and Disinfection Strategies for Movie Theaters

The best advice that we can offer is to outsource the heaving lifting.

Attempting to employ an in-house staff to address the top-to-bottom cleaning requirements for a large theater is cost-prohibitive, requires significant management overhead, safe storage requirements that necessitate mandatory safety training, product purchasing, and management, as well as specialized equipment management and staff training.

That being said, based on the available data, online customer complaints, and a cleaning for health first approach, focus on the following:


Floors and Walkways

Recent studies conducted with swab tests have shown theater floors tend to be covered with fecal matter, among other things.

Floors and walkways need to be swept, at a minimum, before and after closing.

Hard floors and tile in the concession area and bathroom should be professionally scrubbed weekly and mopped before opening and after closing.

Vacuum all carpets and walkway mats daily, and have them professionally serviced at least monthly in accordance with the weather and foot traffic.



Given the available data, there is a fair chance that your bathroom is filthy and understocked with soap or paper products.

Statistically, this will send a customer fleeing from your business, likely to never return and, statistically, very likely to tell others about their negative experience through social media or an online review site.

In addition to the floors, soap, and paper products, clean all of the toilets and stalls, ensuring there are no clogs or blockages, as well as the counters, sinks, mirrors, and fixtures before opening and after closing, making sure to check on the facilities routinely throughout the day/evening.

Clean and disinfect the walls and stalls at least weekly.


Concession Area

Wherever food is prepared you can be assured of one thing; germs and bacteria are present.

Dangerous germs, such as norovirus, are most commonly passed through ingestion while eating, typically because someone did not do a good job washing their hands.

This makes hand-hygiene enforcement paramount for concession workers to avoid costly outbreaks and resulting closures.

Make sure that all food prep and serving areas are cleaned and disinfected after use each day, and that counters and food prep areas are well maintained the entire time the theater is open, and thoroughly cleaned and sanitized at the end of the day.


Auditorium and Chairs

Recent research has shown that the chairs, armrests, cupholders, and floors in the theater auditorium are covered in fecal matter, staph, E. coli, and other germs and bacteria.

Due to the size of the auditorium and the number of seats, regular cleaning is nearly impossible for a theater staff to maintain.

Cup holders should be cleaned daily, and chairs, depending on the type of material they are made from, should be wiped down, washed, and then disinfected at least weekly with an electrostatic disinfection appliance.

The floors in the auditorium should be cleaned during the same time as all of the rest of the floors, and the difficulty of the task should not sway you from maintaining a clean and healthy working and entertainment environment.


Bad Smells

Bad smells can originate from the garbage, which should be emptied as needed, as well as at the end of the day, with the bins themselves being scheduled for weekly cleaning and disinfection.

Foul odors can also come from the bathroom due to clogs or accidents, lending further weight to the practice of having staff routinely check the facilities for issues.

Additionally, foul odors can originate from burnt grease and unsanitary soda fountains, underscoring the importance of regular cleaning and maintenance.

Finally, many conventional cleaning products and air fresheners can make the air toxic, especially when combined with other chemicals and create an instance where the whole building needs to be occupied to avoid making people sick.

The easiest way to address foul odors is to remove the source and provide adequate ventilation while avoiding the use of toxic chemical cleaning products.



Few things are more embarrassing for a business than having a customer report that they witnessed a member of the theater staff using the same towels to clean the bathroom and concession counters, or using mops on theater floors that were previously used on the restroom tile.

To avoid this type of situation, employ color-coded microfiber towels and mop heads and combine their use with the two-bucket cleaning method.

Always clean before disinfecting, starting with the most soiled part of a room, working from top to bottom.

When finished, scrub or mop the floor, starting with the wall furthest from the exit, and clean as you exit the room.



Due to the high volume of traffic, combined with the relative lack of professional custodial experience on the part of theater staff, as well as the presence of food and children, movie theaters tend to be veritable petri dishes of germs, bacteria, and fecal matter.

The cost of employing the necessary personnel and equipment in-house is prohibitive, especially if the intention of the cleaning program is to focus on the health and wellbeing of all building occupants and workers.

Based solely on the scope of the task at hand, combined with the hazards posed by ignoring essential duties, as well as the businesses risk if someone were to tie their illness to the theater, the most cost-effective approach is to outsource the lions share of your organization's cleaning needs to an experienced janitorial provider.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of outsourcing your movie theater's cleaning, disinfection requirements, and facilities maintenance–contact us today for a free quote!

In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 4373253

In Fresno CA, call (559) 206-1059

In Valencia CA, or Santa Clarita CA, call (661) 437-3253