Hollywood wants the world to return to normal, but that feels like a distant day. Something more immediate is the idea of returning to the movie theater. But with COVID-19 cases soaring all over the country, studios are a little more hesitant to send movies like Tenet and Mulan there as test subjects.
So places like Cinemark are digging back into the classics to prove audiences will show.
The company, based in Plano, Texas, operates 555 theaters with 6,145 screens in 41 states domestically and 15 countries throughout South and Central America.
Cinemark has increased its cleaning and safety protocols, designating a “chief clean and safety monitor” at each theater to ensure best practices are maintained.
“As we closely monitor the status of COVID-19, Cinemark has opted to implement a nationwide policy that requires all of our guests to wear face masks while in our theaters,” the representative said. “If a guest forgets his or her mask, Cinemark will have a select amount available at all of our theaters.”
That's good news. This slow rollout starts this weekend with the plan to have all theaters open by July 24th. The phased reopening will kick off in Dallas-area theaters today, with the remaining phases to take place between now and July 17, the company announced Wednesday.
“Cinemark is pleased with the moviegoer response and key learnings from our initial five-theater test-and-learn phase in the Dallas area, and we look forward to welcoming movie fans back into our auditoriums across the country to enjoy this year’s newest films,” Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi said in a statement. “Our multi-phased reopening plan was thoughtfully designed with multiple contingencies in place that enable us to efficiently adapt to today’s ever-changing environment. We continue to pay close attention to status of the virus, local mandates and availability of new content while prioritizing the health and safety of our guests, employees and communities.”
So what will they show?
Before the return of new Hollywood releases, the theaters will showcase some of Tinsel Town's "most loved" titles at a reduced price. For $5 per adult and $3 for children and seniors, movie fanatics can enjoy films including the original Ghostbusters, Wonder Woman, Goonies, Jurassic Park, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
I wish I felt more comfortable going to public spaces because this sounds like a movie-lovers dream. I still think this reopening is premature and I truly do not believe people will be around to go to these movies. The audiences will be small and I think most studios will wind up holding movies until 2021.
Still, it's an interesting idea to try.
Will you go to the theaters if they open up? Let us know in the comments.