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Corona Virus Effect On Theatres In The USA

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  • David Bird
    replied
    Originally posted by Marcel Birgelen View Post

    Some big and bold decisions need to be made in the coming months. You can keep pumping trillions of freshly created debt into the system or you can continue to print new money, but without some big decisions, you will eventually arrive at the same situation Germany was in, in 1923. Also, who's going to pay for all this extra debt? An economy that's already in the toilet?

    We need some fresh thinking, or else, this will all end like 1923... and I'm an optimist at heart.
    If not hyperinflation, then fairly rapid inflation seems probable. It's one of the evils of allowing politicians to control currencies not backed by anything, their very survival politically depends on constantly handing out fresh stacks of it. And gov't never stops growing, and this will bring more of it. The cost will be the sacrifice of a lot of incomes and small businesses either outright or via their stagnated incomes. A shame, since there are so many unnecessary and ineffective parts of the bureaucracy, they should be sharing in the "haircut" here. If not, the majority of the people making the "old salary" numerically will struggle to buy a $20 movie ticket that used to be $12. The "indexed" politicians and bureaucrats will live just fine and be only too happy to create new programs to "help" whilst attempting to blame others (effectively, 1923).

    Now, if this virus is more widespread than we know (don't know about where you are, but Canada only tests those needing hospitalization and the results can take a week or more), that could conceivably change things before a lot of bad things happen economically. If it turned out many more have had it and it's far less deadly and we've avoided the hospital crush and we've learned some effective treatments.......

    The models are highly subject to "garbage in garbage out", but if economically we're talking another Great Depression here, the deaths of people due to extreme poverty, suicide, violence etc are scary to think
    about. I'd like to see the "curves" on that talked about more, I think it might sharpen up the strategies. Hiding in our homes can't happen forever, need a way forward. Watched a baseball game from Taiwan last night, 0 new cases, only 398 cases (about half recovered) and 6 deaths. Population is 24 million, they've tested 52,000. Large gatherings still postponed, but stores, restaurants, life.....still open. Mass testing, mask wearing, and still going to work.
    Last edited by David Bird; 04-18-2020, 08:41 AM.

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  • Marcel Birgelen
    replied
    Originally posted by Dave Macaulay View Post
    There is a lot of misunderstanding of what's happening.
    There is a lot of misinformation and lying out there. People, especially politicians from whatever color, don't want you to hear what they already know. They want to feed it to you in slices, until they figure out themselves what to do...

    According to most scientific models, we'll probably have to face this until mid-2022, even if we find a vaccine in the coming months, there is no way to vaccinate the entire world within a month, there will be lotteries. It's obviously not the kind of data politicians want you to hear, but we just need to look at the Spanish Flu to see how it's going to progress. We're a bit smarter now (let's hope so), so we should be able to avoid the gigantic death toll that it brought about, but it comes at a gigantic cost: our economy.

    It doesn't mean we all need to be in a constant lock-down, but what we'll see is that things will open and close in waves, depending on the local situation. The problem is that theaters will always be among the first to close and the last to reopen.

    How will theaters survive this? I don't think anybody has any real clue right now. Every economist or politician who claims he/she has a clue is just outright lying in your face. But it's obvious that theaters aren't in a unique position. What about hotels? Bars? Restaurants? The entire leisure industry at large?

    Some big and bold decisions need to be made in the coming months. You can keep pumping trillions of freshly created debt into the system or you can continue to print new money, but without some big decisions, you will eventually arrive at the same situation Germany was in, in 1923. Also, who's going to pay for all this extra debt? An economy that's already in the toilet?

    We need some fresh thinking, or else, this will all end like 1923... and I'm an optimist at heart.
    Last edited by Marcel Birgelen; 04-17-2020, 04:21 PM.

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  • Mike Blakesley
    replied
    The news reports do not mention this, but epidemiologists still expect that roughly all of us will get the disease sooner or later.
    This is the first place I"ve seen that.

    I sure hope we aren't closed the rest of the year.... it would put most of us out of business. (I would hate for Richard Greenfield to be right with his "prognosis" for the industry.... he's basically a video cheerleader who obviously dislikes the exhibition business.)

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  • Dave Macaulay
    replied
    There is a lot of misunderstanding of what's happening.
    Pandemic is defined as "an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population".
    The probability in a "pandemic" is that almost everyone will be infected.
    The "shutdown" and "social distancing" is entirely about reducing the infection rate (flattening the curve) so that critical care for the small percentage of COVID-19 cases that require it is available, avoiding rationing critical care to those most likely to survive and leaving those with a poor prognosis to die without intervention. The news reports do not mention this, but epidemiologists still expect that roughly all of us will get the disease sooner or later.
    A widely available vaccine is probably at least a year away. There is a lot of money going into vaccine development but the process can only be sped up by skipping steps that identify side effects and other risks.
    Until a vaccine has been administered to pretty much everyone, the disease will continue to spread until enough of the population has had it and developed immunity (there is some doubt that recovered people get immunity or for how long if they do) that the spread is greatly reduced by "herd immunity".
    So... restrictions will be loosened slowly, in definite steps. I don't expect public events like sports, theatre, cinema, concerts, etc. will be possible this year - that will be one of the very last steps.

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  • Marcel Birgelen
    replied
    I don't think anybody really knows what the requirements would be...

    I guess a basic requirement would be spacing between patrons, but how much? 1,5 meters or 6 feet? Do you keep rows empty between occupied rows? What if I go to the cinema with my partner? Can we sit together or do we need to distance two seats? What about waiting in-line for the theater to open? Do the seats need to be disinfected after every show? Do I need to wear gloves and a mask? Do we need to introduce shopping carts to keep distance for those waiting in line in front of the concession stand?

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  • Frank Cox
    replied
    Would people even want to go to movies if they have to do things X, Y and Z to protect themselves from getting sick while they're there?

    Most folks (and particularly those with kids) will stay out of theatres in those circumstances because why take a chance on getting sick just to watch a movie? Most people wouldn't think it was worth the risk.

    How many people would buy a ticket if the advertising said, "It's so safe that there's only a 1% chance the roof will collapse while you're here."

    I don't think the crowds will come back until we can (honestly) say it's just as safe as it was before so bring your date, sit where-ever you want and enjoy the movie, just like it was before. Until the, the balance of "is it worth it" comes down on the other side.

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  • Lyle Romer
    replied
    One thing I haven't been able to find is what, exactly, constitutes "strict," "moderate," and "limited" physical distancing as it applies to movie theatres. I think it is important to define what each one means.

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  • Marcel Birgelen
    replied
    Originally posted by Frank Cox View Post
    On the other hand, I suppose the landlords will have a reason to work out some kind of a deal with them to stay if possible. It's not like there will be a big line-up of other outfits wanting to rent those storefronts.
    Brick and mortar stores, for large parts, were already on the way out. All over the globe, you could see shopping streets and entire shopping malls see become abandoned, even before the cornonavirus crisis hit. While those landlords may choose to terminate the lease of those hard-struck theaters occupying their real-estate, the question remains what they're going to do with all that real estate anyway? Good luck filling the empty space left by throwing out a 16+ screen multiplex in the current economic situation...

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  • Ronda Love
    replied
    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ne...g-plan-1290593

    White house plans for reopening theatres.

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  • Ronda Love
    replied
    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/15/cine...ronavirus.html

    Cinemark's tentative plans for reopening July 1.

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  • Jim Cassedy
    replied
    . . . and stripped the closed theaters of all equipment and seats to make it more expensive for someone else to reopen .
    Just anecdotally, about 20yrs ago I worked for a while at a broadcast TV network operations & switching center. The corporation was downsizing and the building ( a former phone company building) had been sold. Our control room was going to be moved into space at another building that the TV people already occupied on the other side of town, but it was going to take a long time to build & test the new room, and then move all the fiber, coax & audio tie-lines and circuits over to the new place.

    So, for over a year, the control room I worked in was the only tenant, located in the basement of an otherwise empty 8 story building. One day I decided to go on a 'scavenger hunt' in the abandoned part of the building and I was very surprised to discover that on all the other floors, not only had all the power been turned off, and a lot of the electrical infrastructure had wires cut or completely ripped out, but all of the porcelain sinks, toilets and water fountains had been smashed to bits. At first I thought vandals had maybe gotten inside and trashed the place. But when I asked the corporate real estate folks about it, I found out this was done intentionally. Apparently, the tax rate the owners paid on the building was at least partially determined by the rentable square footage. By destroying the electrical & plumbing infrastructure on the upper floors, thus making them "uninhabitable", they either weren't taxed , or perhaps taxed at a much lower rate, for the space on those floors.

    This really has nothing to do with the current topic, but I thought it was somewhat remotely related to your comment about removing equipment. ~~ That's all - - we can all move on now....
    Last edited by Jim Cassedy; 04-16-2020, 06:24 PM.

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  • Mitchell Dvoskin
    replied
    Again, AMC declared bankruptcy in the late 1990's as a result of borrowing money for over expansion. In bankruptcy, they got rid of most of their debt, closed unprofitable location and stripped the closed theatres of all equipment and seats to make it more expensive for someone else to reopen (except for leases where the property owner owned the contents). They came out of bankruptcy with a lot less overhead and expenses. I expect that if they file, they will do the same again.

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  • Carsten Kurz
    replied
    The issue is, some business are able to reopen any day. Some need a lot of prepping. You can't just kick-boot a trade-fair, for example. Also, once it takes off again, locations will be extremely busy and not everyone will get a early slot. Some businesses/partners needed to get going may not exist anymore.

    - Carsten

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  • Frank Cox
    replied
    On the other hand, I suppose the landlords will have a reason to work out some kind of a deal with them to stay if possible. It's not like there will be a big line-up of other outfits wanting to rent those storefronts.

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  • Jim Cassedy
    replied
    I wonder how many of the big chains will be willing to pay the costs to keep their premises and equipment in place
    I think one of the online articles about the possible AMC implosion said they had somewhere over $200million per month in lease costs, utility bills, insurance payments, & business taxes, etc. That's a pretty big burden to shoulder when you've got almost zero revenue coming in.

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