As theaters around the US have gradually begun open and testing operations in circumstances that limit attendance and require increased hygiene, California is preparing to allow its theaters to reopen, which This will begin on Friday, June 12. California’s Department of Public Health has issued new guidelines requiring masks to enter and exit theaters, as well as when purchasing concession items and whenever physical disturbances cannot be sustained. The capacity will also be limited to a minimum of 25% of the theater’s capacity or a maximum of 100 filmmakers.
The reservation system is encouraged to limit the number of ancestors entering the theater and to provide for pre-planned seating and activity areas, whenever possible, maintaining physical disturbances and waiting for their film The filmmakers should stay in their cars. Drinking fountains will be closed and seating reconfigured to ensure a physical distance of at least 6 feeds between attendees. The guidelines also encourage ‘disposable or washable seat covers’.
High-touch and high-traffic areas, including lobbies, break rooms, ladders, elevators, credit card machines, vending machines, and armrests, need to be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly and often. Disposable or single-use items (ie 3D glasses) are encouraged, or, at the very least, must be disinfected by a guest before and after use.
The Department of Public Health said, “This may require stopping or removing seats in every other row or ‘chessboard’ style (use each row but make sure no one is directly behind other patrons). Members of the same house can be seated together so that the distance remains in all directions, but must maintain a distance of at least six feet from other houses. “
Movie fans are anticipating the official start of the summer film season, which usually closes in May, if not April. As a result of the global health crisis, Hollywood pushed back all of its early summer films months, if not a year or more, on July 17 with Christopher Nolan looking like a long-awaited kickoff. theory, Followed a week later by Disney Mulan. However, many industry watchers have questioned whether these films will hold their planned dates in cinemas in the country, especially California and New York, or to ensure a large opening for these major titles. Were unable to serve enough filmmakers.
While California is plotting to reopen this week, theaters are still closed throughout the Northeast, including Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware. Theaters in the entire Midwest, including Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, are also closed, as are theaters in North and South Carolina, Colorado, Washington, New Mexico and Hawaii. With so many major markets still closed, it would be difficult to successfully open big titles and big chains including Cinemark, Regal and AMC are still planning for a possible re-opening. These major chains spread across the country face more difficult iterations than local operators and regional chains, as they must work for compliance with local health departments in all their markets. Suddenly large scale operations become more difficult when dealing with unequal guidelines and policies of health departments across the country.
For its part, Cinemark plans a staged re-opening, which will begin with theaters in its local Dallas area on June 19, so that their executive and corporate teams can re-open and design appropriate scalable plans. Chen’s CEO, Mark Joradi, and CFO, Sean Gamble, discussed their plans last week on the company’s first-quarter earnings conference call. From there, they intend to reopen 1/3 of their locations, with another 1/3 a week or more later and the last 1/3 opening before July 17.
It is expected that AMC’s earnings will be released after the market closes today and its plans to reopen on its conference call will also be discussed. Last weekend, despite only 21 states keeping their theaters closed, only 554 locations were open and operating nationwide, with 43% (243 locations) of them having drive-ins, so to get enough space for one There is a long way to go and the screen can open successfully to assure these mid and late July endings. Wrap estimates that 725 locations should be open by the end of this week and thousands more are expected to open in the coming weeks.
Apart from the US, other top film markets are also reeling. In China, theaters that had been closed since the beginning of the year were only closed again immediately. Recent reports suggest that, even once the market (the second largest film market in the world) reopens, more than 40% of cinema locations in the country will remain dark, never to return. It is not hard to imagine that as many as 25% of theaters in the US, especially small and family operators with one or a few locations, may face the same fate.
Theaters across the country are operating with strict capacity restrictions and increased costs due to cleanliness and hygiene requirements, not being able to operate profitably. Cinemark has been more optimistic, telling analysts in mid-April that high-capacity operations were really only a weekend event and especially during the opening of a film, and that since their theaters were only 25% -30% Were operated at capacity, the rest of the day – they would be able to operate successfully at low capacity. It remains to be seen how the theaters will operate, possibly extending the length of each film’s run on their screens, attempting to allow the filmmakers to see the film, despite its dramatically reduced capacity in its auditoriums.
Increased customer screening and hygiene requirements, as well as reduced capacity across the board, will certainly affect cinema operator profits, but may make the film more enjoyable for patrons. Less crowded auditoriums, no lines at the box office or concessions and a lot of theaters make the night very enjoyable for most filmmakers. This news was first reported by Variety.