Movie Theaters in China Can Reopen – But Will Anyone Go?

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Movie theaters in China can reopen, a welcome piece of news for cinephiles all around the world.

This week, the country, which was the first hit by the covid-19 pandemic, announced that “cinemas, theaters, recreation halls and other enclosed entertainment and leisure venues may hold all types of necessary meetings and exhibition activities.” The state council also issued guidelines for how theaters can safely welcome back patrons.

The country’s top administrative body says that movie theaters in China will need to strengthen ventilation systems and implement daily cleaning and disinfection. Theatergoers, meanwhile, should wear face masks and keep a safe distance from others.

The news did not signal an automatic reopening; as of Friday, no movie theaters in China had reopened or announced upcoming programming.

Even if movie theaters are allowed to reopen, film fans need to feel safe enough to go to the movies.

China has gotten its coronavirus cases under control, but film lovers on social media expressed concern about going back to theaters. Some also pointed out that they wouldn’t go to a theater to see just anything – it would have to be a film they were really interested in.

In the US, we still need a decrease in covid-19 cases and an increase in testing capability before most officials would allow the reopening of movie theaters.

Georgia governor Brian Kemp is an exception, as he announced a reopening of movie theaters back in April (with guidelines in place to reduce the spread of covid-19). But major theater chains including AMC, Regal, Cinemark and the Alamo Drafthouse chose to remain closed.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom has classified movie theaters as part of “Phase Three” reopening, and the state has only now just entered a limited Phase Two.

What would you need to feel safe going back to the movies? Let us know in the comments below?

In The Industry