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Monday, May 04, 2020

Cinemas Begin to Reopen

As movie theaters across the U.S. began to open, experimentation is taking place. Using airport security-style check-in seems to be the norm for cinemas. Moviegoers line-up at the front door where their temperatures are taken via infrared thermometers (about $50 each from Amazon). Anyone with a temp above 100.4F (38C) is turned away.

I believe it is very important that early attending patrons feel safe and protected. Most early openers are restricting capacity to 25% per screening.

Another issue to be dealt with is a lack of product. Some cinemas are opening with "Trolls World Tour" and films, such as "The Hunt" and others that were released just before the shutdown such as "1917" and "Parasite".

Think of your cinema's reopening as psychological vs. profitable.  You're providing the first "big escape" for your patrons and your employees (who are very eager to return to work). Follow all of the protocols and even expand on these. You may want to offer discount admission to entice attendance.

Keep these issues in mind:
EVO Theaters located in Texas reopened the week

- Reduce touch-points on food service
- Curtail cash transactions, as much as possible
- Distance spacing is requisite
- Masks for patrons, your call
- Masks for employees, a must
- Act quickly with protocol offenders

Early reports are that theaters announcing there reopening have pre-sold between 25-30% of available seating for upcoming shows.

Interesting Noteables:

- All cinemas in Norway are scheduled to reopen on May 7th. Although, like Sweden, cinemas were never obligated to close during the virus shutdown.  It was left completely to the theater owners as to whether or not to close - and most did.

- Imax was slammed by the virus as it had to close all of its movie exhibition worldwide. Imax, which licenses its technology to theater chains are at the mercy of the theater owners regarding reopening policy.

Jim Lavorato

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