How Movie Theaters Could Reopen According to Coronavirus Guidelines

As the summer continues to creep closer and closer, many people are wondering if we’ll be able to see summer blockbusters in an actual movie theater. Due to COVID-19 and physical distancing measures put in place in mid-March, movie theaters have had to shut their doors. Both big chains and independent theaters have closed. With big titles such as Mulan, Wonder Woman 1984, and Bill & Ted Face the Music among others slated to arrive this summer, the pressure is on to see if it’s even a possibility.

The answer is maybe? Via Variety, the President outlined a plan titled, “ Opening Up America Again” in his Thursday press conference. The plan serves as a marker for when businesses, like movie theaters, could re-open. The proposed guidelines specifically mention cinema. States must satisfy a list of criteria in terms of reducing the number of COVID-19 cases before they can ease social distancing measures currently in place. The White House did not give an official timeline as to when that might be.

Closed movie theater exterior

Lorie Shaull/Flickr

The plan, which you can read in detail here, has multiple phases. Phase One includes the following criteria: “There must be a downward trajectory of reported flu-like illnesses and cases with COVID-like symptoms. There must be a downward trajectory of documented COVID-19 cases, or positive COVID-19 tests and hospitals must be able to treat all patients without crisis care, and have a robust testing program for at-risk health care workers.”

If a state can meet those criteria and hold steady for a 14 day period, they can reopen certain venues. Those venues include sit-down restaurants, sporting venues, and movie theaters. Though theaters would have to observe strict social distancing protocols. They would have to maintain six feet between individuals, which would be a challenge to be sure. But if it’s between that or staying closed, we hope movie theaters can figure out a new protocol. We all have to these days.

Hollywood is hopeful things can reopen by the end of June, although safety is obviously the first priority. The Hollywood Reporter stated, “The National Association of Theatre Owners didn’t immediately comment on the White House plan.”

Here’s to hoping we can all enjoy the magic of movies in a theater once again soon.

Featured Image: Lorie Shaull/Flickr

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