Chinese moviegoers can now go to theaters again, as China’s movie theaters begin reopening Monday. This opening comes after COVID-19 closed all cinemas in China for six months. Since then, COVID-19 became a pandemic. Because of the virus, cinemas around the world shut down.
Chinese Cinema Announces Slow COVID-19 Recovery
CNN reports that the China Film Administration has allowed cinemas in “low-risk” areas to open again. Moviegoers have to wear masks before going inside theaters. Personnel will also check their temperatures. Moreover, you can’t even bring snacks or drinks with you. In all, China’s theaters should operate at 30% capacity.
State-run newspaper Global Times also reports that the “low-risk” tag applies to most of the country. This news means that most cinemas in China are allowed to open up again.
"30% of Chinese respondents said they'd return to cinemas soon as reopened, while 33% will wait for official announcemt that #COVID19 has been completely contained. 29% said they'd “wait for a while” post-announcemt before heading back to movie theaters"https://t.co/lJfpljTJQF
— China Beige Book (@ChinaBeigeBook) March 19, 2020
What Does This Mean for Chinese Cinema, After COVID-19?
The restart of movie screenings yielded fast profits. According to CNN, movie ticket sales in China shot past2.8 million yuan or $400,000 in a few hours. Chinese movie productions could also resume soon.
Globally, the Chinese film industry is the second-largest. It’s only second to the United States in box office sales. In 2019, Chinese cinema gained over $9 billion in the box office. Chinese production companies also finance some Hollywood movies.
What About Movie Theaters Outside China?
As the pandemic goes on, all cinemas stay closed, including those in the US. Some countries are on pace to control COVID-19. But safety protocols might not allow cinemas to open again.