U.S. Movie Theatres to Lift Curtains Despite Hurdles


With rumours of reopening, the 60- person Arena Cinelounge In LA would be filled to the pop, however, the seating arrangement, designed to encourage social distancing among the 15 real-life patrons who will be allowed into each screening, is one of the new safety measures theatres are putting in place to reduce the chance of coronavirus spread.

“We’re going above and beyond to make sure that everything is spotless and that audiences feel comfortable and safe being with us for two to three hours,” owner Christian Meoli said.

It is unclear, however, when Meoli and other theatre operators will be able to welcome back guests.

While about 780 indoor cinemas have reopened around the country, officials in Los Angeles County, the largest moviegoing market in the United States, have not yet given a green light, voicing concern about a rise in coronavirus cases

All plan safeguards including limited attendance, extra cleaning and face masks for guests and workers.
Walt Disney Co’s “Mulan” on July 24. AT&T Inc’s Warner Bros. had been set to follow with director Christopher Nolan’s thriller “Tenet” on July 31, but the studio postponed the debut until Aug. 12.

More shuffling of the schedule could come, depending on the progress of the coronavirus pandemic.

Currently, the first widely released film on Hollywood’s schedule is “Unhinged,” a road rage drama starring Russell Crowe, set to debut on July 10. In an interview with Crowe, he was encouraged to hear reports that moviegoers have been longing to head back to cinemas, especially for thrillers. He said “They wanted to be back in that place, in that safe place, in that room, where all the craziness is just happening on the screen, not necessarily in their own lives,” Crowe said in an interview.

In Los Angeles, movie fans had mixed opinions about heading back to theatres.

“I’m a big cinema-goer, so for me, it would be just to make sure that social distancing is in place” along with other steps such as pre-packaging of concessions, said Sean Thomas, an accountant visiting from Chicago.