The impact of COVID-19 on the global cinema business (as at 20/5/20)

The Chinese province of Guizhou has stated it is to allow its cinemas to re-open, from 17 May. The government has already given a theoretical go-ahead for cinemas in low-risk areas to re-open under strict distancing and hygiene measures (see 11 May 2020) but it is taking time to turn this into action at a provincial level.

Visitors to cinemas are required to book tickets online, have their temperatures taken, sit separately and wear masks during their stay. In addition, theatres are only allowed to fill 50 percent of an auditorium’s capacity.

In Costa Rica, the government allowed cinemas to re-open from 1 May. However, the trade body representing distributors and exhibitors  says that cinemas will not until their measures are aligned and all cinemas will open at the same time.

In Germany, the State of Saarland has allowed cinemas to re-open from 18 May. This is the eighth German State to re-open, making up nearly 60% of screens.

In Israel, the government has announced that cinemas and theatres will be able to re-open on 14 June, with a maximum capacity of 100 and two seats between patrons.

The Lebanese government has already outlined a five stage re-opening plan, that began on 27 April. Cinemas come under Stage 5 which is scheduled to begin on 8 June, along with schools, beaches and some other entertainment venues.

A number of US States have given dates for re-opening cinemas, albeit some timings are dependent on earlier phases going well. In all, 11 States have set dates and two States (Utah and South Dakota) never officially shut them down.