Sunday, August 09, 2020

Most US movie theater chains probably won't reopen until well into 2021; this all was very sudden for them (look at Landmark)

I think it’s interesting to review a typical theater chain’s “coronavirus notice” back in March 2020, with progressive entries (like a blog) March 12 (Thursday), 13, and 16.  Landmark tried to implement a policy of 50% seating on March 14, and decided on March 16 to close March 17.

This notice shows how suddenly and unexpected the lockdown hit most service and performing arts businesses.  Most of the owners and investors say they had no idea that could even happen for the reason given at the time, to “flatten the curve”.  The same goes for restaurants and bars.
Most analysts now say that movie theaters can’t reliably open until mid 2021, after vaccinations have started in some earnest.

A good question then is how well film production continues for the VoD market.  Even in the gay “soft core” world, I am seeing stuff come out, as if actors could be tested for coronavirus first and then act the scenes safely.
On March 10, I was on a day trip in Pennsylvania and ate in a typical restaurant. By March 17, I pretty much realized “it would be this way” but it doesn’t sound like a lot of businesses had.
 Update: Aug. 11:
 Kate Cox writes in Arstechnica that a federal judge has vacated the Paramount Consent Decree, which could open the motion picture theater industry to vertical integration with large studios, after it is possible for them to open given Covid. I'll probably come back to this issue again as to how if might affect what scripts get greenlighted. 

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