We’re officially arriving at the one-year anniversary since movie theaters were forced to close their doors and keep their projection coils from spinning. Many of us could not have foreseen that the last movie we saw in a theater would be the last time we would visit cinemas for an entire year. However, with multiple vaccines being implemented and positive COVID-19 cases being declined, could cinemas open soon?
Last time cinemas were really open, we were left with some pretty lackluster options, deprived of our big summer movie season that would release some massive tent pole movies. This was included Top Gun: Maverick, Black Widow, A Quiet Place 2, Dune, and other noteworthy projects. We had to suffer because of films like Vin Diesel’s Bloodshot for nothing at all.
However, many cinema owners are hoping that the cinemas will open very soon, and I think we can all agree that we have been sorely missed since the start of the current global pandemic. But will cinemas also open soon? Let’s take a closer look at the situation.
Why are cinemas important?
Simply put, cinemas are a symbolic chapel of entertainment and visual storytelling, with a rich history stretching from our grandparents’ days at the local drive-in to our own memories of attending the movies. In movie theaters, we can leave all our problems in life and enter a new world that shines a light on our imaginations.
Because of the cinemas are closed, we’re usually left to stream some of our most anticipated movies, which unfortunately aren’t the same. Movies are meant to be a shared experience, on a big screen that many people watch. That’s how movies are made Rocky special. That’s what moments like the portal scene in Avengers: Endgame special. That’s what we need now.
Cinemas in the COVID-19 era
When movie theaters started closing in March 2020, many of us watched our favorite weekend tradition slip quietly away, as seeing an expected movie in front of the big screen with a bucket of popcorn was no longer an option.
Today we are haunted by the cinema experience as we walk past the box office of our local malls and drive past the marquee of our favorite movie theater. However, in a global pandemic, we understand the importance of keeping a safe distance as cinemas offer a unique experience that, unfortunately, involves many people in a confined space.
Even with mandatory masks, constant sterilization, and spaced-out seating, it is clear that until the vaccine has reached enough people, as well as current COVID-19 cases, that open cinemas perhaps last on the priority list when it comes to returning to “normal”. That said, cases do relapse and the vaccination process speeds up quite quickly. Do we see options that could encourage the process of opening cinemas? How about quick tests?
The UK has already considered such options.
Follow the UK
Phil Clapp, the CEO of the UK Cinema Association, falls back no pun intended on the idea of conducting rapid COVID-19 tests before going to a nightlife venue, as suggested by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Boris Johnson had suggested during a coronavirus briefing last Monday to use rapid tests and rely on the current vaccination process to open cinemas and concert halls.
The next day, during an interview with the BBC World in one, Clapp, who represents 90% of UK cinemas, explained how cinemas shouldn’t do that are compared to the types of social environments that are night clubs and concert venues.
Clapp also noted how the 30 minutes it takes to wait for test results, as well as the cost of the test, must not be put on the shoulders of the average moviegoer. Clapp added the following:
“So when you’re talking about an audience of maybe 250 people, I think we think it’s impractical to ask them 30 minutes before seeing a two-hour movie, and also ask them what in most cases equivalent to a 50% increase in their ticket price is not really the way forward. ”
How desperate are you to return to the cinema once cinemas reopen? Which 2021 movie are you most excited to see on the big screen? How about your favorite cinema snack? Comment below and let us know your thoughts.