Shares of movie theater operators got a lift Monday, as full approval of a COVID-19 vaccine by the Food and Drug Administration helped fuel hopes that increased vaccination rates would bring more people back to the movies.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.’s stock

ran up 6.7% in midday trading, after being up about 2.0% just prior to the FDA’s announcement.

The FDA’s approval of the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc.

and BioNTech SE

applies to people who are at least 16 years old.

“While millions of people have already safely received COVID-19 vaccines, we recognize that for some, the FDA approval of a vaccine may now instill additional confidence to get vaccinated,” said acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock in a statement. Read more in MarketWatch’s the “Coronavirus Update” column.

Earlier in August, AMC Chief Executive Adam Aron had said in a conference call with analysts after second-quarter results were released that vaccination rates played a role in AMC’s results.

“[V]accination increasing is very important for AMC and for the movie theater industry generally,” Aron said, according to a FactSet transcript.

When asked by analyst Sean Goodman at Goldman Sachs how AMC is preparing for a possible large-scale COVID surge, Aron said he didn’t expect the type of shutdowns seen last winter, given the extensive availability of vaccines.

“The solution for AMC is vaccination,” Aron said.

Also read: Will vaccine skeptics accept the safety of the COVID shot now that the FDA has granted full approval?

FactSet, MarketWatch

Elsewhere, shares of Cinemark Holdings Inc.

climbed 5.6% and IMAX Corp.

rose 3.2%.

The stocks outperformed the broader stock market by a wide margin, as the S&P 500 index

rose 1.0%.

Cinemark Chief Executive Mark Zoradi said earlier this month in a post-earnings conference call that one of the key considerations regarding the rebound of the theatrical exhibition industry was “the status of the virus and vaccinations.”

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