Countries across the world are devising plans to reopen cinemas as they attempt to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic. As soon as the government gives a green light, many theater companies in the US are ready to reopen cinemas with safety precautions and physical distancing measures in place.
According to a report in CNN, AMC Theatres — the world’s largest movie theater owner — announced last week that it is set to reopen its more than 600 US theaters next month with new safety and health measures to help curb the spread of coronavirus.
The company said it will begin a multi-phase reopening on July 15, adding that it expects to be nearly fully operational by the July 24 premiere of Disney’s Mulan.
Vue — one of the biggest UK cinema chains — are also awaiting government’s approval and plan to open cinemas in July, depending on the pandemic’s situation.
“We have been liaising closely with authorities across Europe to design operating procedures that can provide the degree of social distancing required and allow an experience for our customers and staff that is as safe as possible,” Vue’s management stated.
Earlier this month, chief executive Tim Richards told the BBC he hoped to have the chain up and running in time for the launch of director Christopher Nolan’s action movie Tenet on 17 July, which is now extended to 31 July. AMC plans to show older films until new ones are released.
AMC Theatres have even formulated a comprehensive and effective health and sanitation plan to move forward, which includes:
- Initially capping movie showtimes at 30% seating capacity
- Cleaning every theater between each showtime
- Disinfecting seating areas nightly using electrostatic sprayers
- Temporarily reducing menu selections at its concession stands
- Upgrading its ventilation systems in its theaters
- Requiring every AMC employee to wear masks while in the theater
Though we are quite unsure about the future of Pakistani cinemas keeping in mind the sudden rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, we certainly hope that like first-world countries, we will overcome the pandemic and movies will see light of the day.