California Movie Theaters Could Reopen June 12th

As Hollywood looks to reopen after a global shutdown, new reports suggest cinemas in California could be opening as soon as this weekend. Deadline is reporting California governor Gavin Newsom will unveil further post-pandemic reopening plans later this week, ones that include the reopening of movie theaters this Friday, June 12th.

Despite having no new releases to show until the middle of next month, theaters across the country have slowly been reopening with updated social distancing procedures in place, something California is all but guaranteed to follow. In fact, the National Association of Theater Owners said last week they anticipate having at least 90-percent of the market place reopened by the time Christopher Nolan's Tenet hits theaters July 17th.

Some theaters have been introducing new rules including mandatory facemasks for both staff and movie-goers, increased distance between parties in the theater, and an increased presence of hand sanitizers and other disinfectants. Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi told investors last week that while the chain won't force customers to wear masks, they will be reducing the seating capacities of all auditoriums by 50-percent.

“The reality is I don’t think we’re going to be able to get into a full-on rhythm again of product cycles and all that we had prior to COVID-19 until 2022,” Zoradi said at the time. “That’s more production-related than our operation-related because as studios have had to adapt to not being able to do filming and do post-production, they’ve had to move their schedules. Therefore, we’re going to adapt as well.”

Earlier this month, AMC Theatres reported record losses for the first quarter of their fiscal year, one with few major releases prior to being shut down due to the expanding coronavirus pandemic at the time.

“We believe, but cannot guarantee, that the exhibition industry will ultimately rebound and benefit from pent-up social demand for out-of-home entertainment, as government restrictions are lifted and home sheltering subsides. However, the ultimate significance of the pandemic, including the extent of the adverse impact on our financial and operational results, will be dictated by the currently unknowable duration and the effect on the overall economy and of responsive governmental regulations, including shelter-in-place orders of the pandemic and mandated suspension of operations,” the company said in an SEC filing announcing its preliminary earnings and complicated outlook.

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