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Corona Virus Effect On Theatres In The USA

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  • Frank Cox
    replied
    According to boxoffice.com and boxofficemojo.com, this is the lowest weekend box office gross since September 2001 and the lowest grossing weekend for the top ten movies on the eleventh weekend of the year since 1995.

    And no new wide release movies on the calendar until April 10 (Trolls World Tour and Saint Maud).



    I'm not seeing the ray of sunshine here.

    What makes this worse (as I see it) is the fact that there's no real end date for this. If I end up shutting my theatre down for a while (and I never thought I would ever write those words), will it be for a month? A couple of months? A year? Two? Do I just say the hell with it, now I'm retired?

    If there's a prolonged shutdown, will there be enough theatres left afterward that a movie theatre industry will still even exist? I'm thinking that these big outfits that rent space in malls and whatnot won't want to pay ongoing rent and other costs indefinitely while waiting for an indefinite day in the future when they might be able to open for business again. And where do they find the managers and the staff and the cinema techs who have by then scattered to other employment since few people can afford to just sit and wait forever for a reopening date that might or might not come at some unspecified point in the future.

    To the extent that I've ever given it any thought (and that's not much), I've always just kind of assumed that I'll be running my theatre until the day I die or until I just can't do it any more. For the very first time I'm confronting the idea that I might not be able to do that.

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  • Bobby Henderson
    replied
    The AMC (former Carmike) location here in Lawton cut its maximum ticket sales per auditorium in half. It looks like AMC has adopted this policy for most of their locations. Their IMAX-branded screen in Lawton has over 550 seats, so it's cut down to no more than a little over 200 tickets available per show. It doesn't look like they've done anything to the reserved seating chart in the IMAX house to force any social distancing however. It looks like audiences could bunch in the center and back of the auditorium like they usually do.

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  • Armand Daiguillon
    replied
    The virus has cut attendance at my theater by 80%....and with less product becoming available I dont see it getting any better any time soon.
    We've had to suspend all staff shifts, starting next week it will just be managers working.

    Its very bad .....

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  • Carl Martin
    replied
    The famous Castro Theater, for example, is intending to stay open
    they have closed too, as of this morning. both theaters i regularly work at have shut for the time being, so paying the rent next month will be a challenge.

    in fact, just about all the "interesting" venues around here (sf bay area) are shuttered. the new mission hasn't announced a closure yet, and if they're still open tuesday and wednesday i'll watch a couple movies, but i'm not holding my breath.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mark Lensenmayer
    replied
    Screenings in Ohio have a limit of 100 seats. There does not seem to be a limit on how many can be in the building, just 100 per room. With schools out, theaters might do a good business next week if they have some family programming.

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  • Mitchell Dvoskin
    replied
    Bergen County NJ, across the Hudson River from northern New York City has ordered all theaters (movies & live) closed.

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  • Jim Cassedy
    replied
    I just got an e-mail from two neighborhood theaters here in San Francisco that are shutting their doors
    as of tonight because "The City of San Francisco has mandated that any business with a capacity of
    100 or more persons must close for the immediate future".
    > NO!!< That's not what the mandate said! It only said that you can't hold any 'non essential event'
    with more than 100 people.
    So, for example, if you had a restaurant that can hold 150 people, you can't admit any more than 100
    diners at a time.

    The famous Castro Theater, for example, is intending to stay open, but not to sell any more than 100
    tickets for any individual show.

    (Earlier in the week, the 'capacity cap' was higher, but was revised downward to 100 as of today)

    It may all be a moot point, as the constant news coverage (not that this isn't an important issue)
    has caused many people to panic and just stay home. Downtown SF is a lot more empty than usual.
    In fact the biggest crowd I've seen so far this week was at TARGET where people were clamoring to
    hoard food, cleaning supplies, bottled water, and toilet paper. The place was practically cleaned out.

    Leave a comment:


  • Frank Cox
    replied
    The Saskatchewan Chief Medical Health Officer has just issued the following order.

    The following orders will come into effect on Monday, March 16 until further notice:
    • No public gathering of over 250 people in any one room take place. This does not include settings where people are distributed into multiple rooms or buildings, such as schools, universities or workplaces;
    • The Chief Medical Health Officer orders that no events of over 50 people with speakers or attendees who have travelled internationally in the last 14 days take place;
    • Retail locations and faith-based organizations are exempt, however, they should have measures (such as crowd size monitoring) that support safe social distancing and should seek guidance from the local medical health officer if necessary; and
    • Effective immediately, people who have travelled outside the province in the previous 14 days or have acute repository or flu-like symptoms should avoid visiting long term care homes and hospitals.
    Why the order doesn't come into force immediately is a question that I don't know the answer to.

    Also, I just saw this:

    Landmark Cinemas, which operates movie theatres in Regina, Saskatoon and Yorkton, has announced it will limit the number of people in each of its theatres by half.

    "Our reserved seating system has blocked every other loveseat recliner or conventional chair to dramatically increase personal space," Landmark said in a news release.
    I'm starting to wonder if it's even going to be worth opening the door for the movie tonight. A lot of people who might otherwise come to the show might be scared away with the saturation news coverage.

    I guess I'll set up for tonight's show as usual and see what happens.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lyle Romer
    replied
    One think that is very unclear when they put these gathering size limits in place is, when applied to a movie theatre, would the limit be per auditorium or per complex? If per auditorium there is no need to close. Just limit ticket sales to below that amount in any larger auditoriums.

    Personally, I would sell maybe 40% of tickets, block off every other row and leave one seat open between parties. I would also plead with people via large signs that anybody that is coughing or has a fever should not enter the building.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ed Gordon
    replied
    I have not heard of any movie theater closures in the Seattle, WA area due to the limitation of less than 250 people in a single venue. Most (if not all) theaters doing live performances have closed.

    Leave a comment:


  • Harold Hallikainen
    replied
    California public health recommendations are at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID...e_03.11.20.pdf .

    Leave a comment:


  • Jim Cassedy
    replied
    A friend down near Santa Cruz, CA, sent me a picture last night of a multiplex theater somewhere near
    where he is at, and although it was still open, the Box Office itself was all closed up & covered with signs
    advising patrons that they had no B O staff, and could only buy tickets online or at a nearby kiosk.
    I guess they are trying to minimize staff exposure and things like handling cash. He didn't go inside, so I
    have no idea how they are handling the concessions. Maybe they'll fire everyone & go back to putting in
    vending machines. He also mentioned that 'the whole place looked empty' and I can't see any people
    standing around the theater or lobby in either of the two photos he sent.

    > A friend of mine is seeing a therapist. She was informed yesterday that starting next week, her sessions
    would be held by phone or video-chat.
    Last edited by Jim Cassedy; 03-13-2020, 11:08 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marcel Birgelen
    replied
    In Belgium, all cinemas are closed until the 3rd of April. Most other European countries (with the exception to Italy) haven't chosen to take such drastic measures yet, though I guess France will be the next one to announce similar measures.
    Last edited by Marcel Birgelen; 03-13-2020, 01:54 AM. Reason: typo...

    Leave a comment:


  • Steve Guttag
    replied
    Well we were just informed of our first theatre closures due to the virus.

    I wonder if any Drive-Ins are about to open that maybe could step it up. That would be a reasonably safe movie experience since you mostly remain in YOUR car to limit you social exposure.

    Leave a comment:


  • Kyle Mahaney
    replied
    Also this will probably have a longer effect on indies than the rest of the industry given how many indie films are going to have delayed festival runs as a result of this. This will effect their release dates into next year and could seriously affect release schedules. I know the festival I program for is already checking back with some of our features that were SXSW or Cleveland premieres to see if they're pulling their screenings for smaller fests.

    Leave a comment:

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