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Corona Virus Effect On Theatres In The USA

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  • #46
    This is so sad with all the small people that work to keep a movie theatre open from the candy staff, auditorium cleaners, managers, boxoffice help and so many more they are all out of a job. The big movie chains will save major dollars with the loss of all the help. I wonder how many of these closed up cinemas in almost every town from big plexes to single screens will take this close up time to remodel or clean the inside of their cinema spaces? Many cinemas are filthy with dust build up under the old seats and even from the top of the surround wall speakers. I bet most will not get any cleaning and some may never open up again as a movie cinema. Many leases will be broken. Let's hope some can open for summer 2020 or the Christmas season. We have two brand new cinemas do to open in San Francisco this summer. The Regal Stonestown 12 and the CV Van Ness in the old AMC 14 spot. They will both feature many of the new toys like 4DX, Screen X, Dolby AtmosĀ® and the RPX curved screen at the Regal property. This will give old Century/Century & AMC some things they mostly don't offer for the SF movie crowd. The virus may delay the opening of both of these new movie theatres in SF CA till next year who knows?


    • #47
      A couple days ago I mentioned AMC closed all of its locations, which closed our local Patriot Cinemas theater. Yet New Vision Theaters kept their Central Mall location open. Well, later that evening Lawton's City Council and Mayor revised the city's emergency proclamation to close all cinemas, along with churches, bars, night clubs and many other kinds of businesses open to large numbers of the general public. They set a limit not allowing crowds of any more than 10 people and mandated social distancing of 6 feet. Restaurants were only allowed to stay open in the capacity of selling food via drive-thru windows, curb-side delivery or home delivery.

      Oklahoma's state government has still not, to date, delivered any state-wide limits on activity. Our Governor, Kevin Stitt is now famous for his tweets from a busy restaurant, partying with his family among a crowd and apparently ignoring safety protocols. The single party state government is leaving it up to local cities and towns to enact their own policies. Tulsa suburb Broken Arrow was going to try to capitalize on service businesses being shut down in Tulsa and most other cities in Oklahoma. But earlier this evening their city council adopted the same restrictions for businesses in an emergency session.

      Oklahoma is home to dozens of different Native American tribes. Many of their operations are not subject to local or even state regulations. Some of the tribes moved quickly to close casinos while others dragged their feet. The Comanche, Apache and Kiowa tribes at first vowed to stay open. A public backlash started broiling because it looked like the tribes were ignoring the demographics of their primary customer base: lots of older folks who smoke more than a factory chimney stack. Hell, a common sight in an Oklahoma casino is some retiree propped up in front of a slot machine game, smoking away of course, but he has an oxygen system with plastic tubes stuck in his nose. Prime COVID-19 target material there. On Wednesday the rest of the tribes began shutting down their casinos too. Just about all their employees will continue to get paid ('cuz they rake in a shit-ton of money).

      Retailers weren't a part of our city's list of businesses that had to close or greatly limit their activity. Nevertheless JCPenney shut its store at Central Mall yesterday. Kohl's and TJ Maxx closed their locations today. Others may follow.

      I'm hearing now Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered all residents of California to stay at home. The City of Los Angeles has ordered all non-essential businesses to close. IIRC that apparently even includes liquor stores. With all the stress this situation is creating people are going to need to take a drink!

      Here's one tid bit that stuns me: some countries are asking Netflix to limit its content streams to standard definition to keep the Internet from crashing. The fear is with so many people stuck at home they're going to overload bandwidth limits. Maybe these officials ought to be getting in touch with the admins of PornHub.
      Last edited by Bobby Henderson; 03-19-2020, 09:40 PM.


      • #48
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        • #49
          Just looked at Comscore for Friday, March 20: 624 Polled Locations. Down from what appears to be 3141 last week. Total reported gross: $93,000.


          • #50
            They've extended the mandatory closures here in Michigan to April 13th. We just had our first confirmed case here in our county (Gladwin).

            I had thought about doing the curbside popcorn delivery idea, but that about kills that.. People will be even more nervous now.

            Our governor has claimed she has no intentions of doing any kind of shelter in place initiatives, but I can see that changing soon.


            • #51
              As of our last showtimes update on Friday at 5:30pm, we had showtimes for 514 U.S. locations on Friday, 506 on Saturday, and 492 on Sunday (today). That number drops to 389 for Monday, but I'm aware of several theaters that closed over the weekend that were originally hoping to stay open for at least the weekend.

              Speaking of Comscore, Deadline is reporting that Comscore is "pausing" box office reporting after Disney decided to suspend reporting box office results for its movies.

              Some theaters are selling popcorn and other concession items out of their buildings, either through drive-up carryout or UberEats/Doordash, while others that have restaurants are doing the same thing but with their expanded menus.

              This period of time is going to require some ingenuity and creativity to survive...


              • #52
                I own a drive-in, about 35 miles east of Nashville. In the greater Nashville area - all dominated by Regal and AMC, every single theatre in the middle Tennessee area was closed with the exception of maybe 2-3 drive-ins. We got written approval to remain open from our health department with certain conditions. We effectively cut our parking in half, spacing cars 20 feet apart as opposed to the typical 10 feet allotment per car. Our concessions lobby is an open-air breezeway and we were restricted to ONE person per car to come place food orders. Once the person placed their order they were sent back to the car and we sent them a text message to come get their food when it was ready. It worked out fairly well, but I did spend most of my time on Friday night kicking 20-somethings out of the lobby who would not abide by the one person per vehicle rule. Sold out both screens on Saturday night (albeit it was technically a half full lot.). Got movies booked for this coming weekend already, however I expect our Governor will shut down non-essential businesses before the end of the week.

                Funny thing.... Saturday night after our boxoffice closed I was submitting our grosses to ComScore and noticed at the time I had reported the Top 10 movies for Saturday were listed and Back to the Future was #7 and Jaws (1975) was #9.


                • #53
                  They've extended the mandatory closures here in Michigan to April 13th. We just had our first confirmed case here in our county (Gladwin).

                  I had thought about doing the curbside popcorn delivery idea, but that about kills that.. People will be even more nervous now.

                  Our governor has claimed she has no intentions of doing any kind of shelter in place initiatives, but I can see that changing soon.
                  James, we are in Michigan too.
                  We opened our concession stand last weekend for three hours a day and did very well. Our concession prices are low so it didn't hurt people's budget to buy popcorn and take it home to watch DisneyPlus or Netflix. Our sales where about the same as if we where showing a movie. We are looking to do other things too. We are looking to work with a local upscale restaurant to offer take out meals.. Still working out the details.
                  The Governor just issued a Stay At Home order, but we can still offer to-go food.


                  • #54
                    We did the popcorn-delivery-to-your-car thing on Saturday night. It was just on a whim at the last minute, a friend of ours suggested it. So, one hour beforehand I put up a post on Facebook saying we'd be doing popcorn delivery to cars, and to call us with orders and credit card info. I figured we'd have a very low response since the post was so late, but we were completely slammed and sold more popcorn and sodas and candy than we do on a lot of regular Saturday nights. I was the car hop and I have no idea how many miles I put on running in and out with orders.

                    So..... we refined our process a little, brought in one extra employee and did it again last night, and this time I posted the notice in mid-afternoon. We did even more business and are now planning to do the same every weekend we're closed. (I figured if we did it every night people might burn out on it.)

                    After this is over, I'm thinking this might lead to a new side-business of drive-up popcorn sales from people who never go to movies.


                    • #55
                      Not quite the USA, but exhibition in New Zealand has already closed, and will remain closed for at least the next four weeks, by order of the gummint. We're currently in "Alert Level 3", rising to "Alert Level 4" on Wednesday. Under this alert level:

                      Gatherings are cancelled

                      All indoor and outdoor events cannot proceed.

                      These requirements apply to family and social gatherings such as birthdays, funerals, tangi or weddings. These gatherings can not go ahead.
                      So that's it until further notice.


                      • #56
                        We've been wanting to do popcorn pickup, but we're worried that people will keep wanting to come in, look around, pay with cash (or check!), and chat. It would really be better if they would order by web/phone, pay that way, then let us bring it to the car. We still have lots of customers who drop by to see what's playing, even knocking on our door if they see us inside and asking what movies are coming soon, which is great, but I wonder if we'd spend a lot of time asking people to please order ahead and keep to themselves. Did anyone who's tried this have that problem?


                        • #57
                          We had a few people wanting to pay by cash. We didn't have a problem with it really because mostly they would say "keep the change." I was running deliveries out to the cars and I had gloves on, so anytime I had to carry money back in I would just swap in a new pair of gloves.

                          We've only had one lady so far try to walk in, I shooed her back out onto the sidewalk.

                          I don't know if we'll do the same level of business in later weeks that we did the first week, but if we do, it'll keep the lights on and the motor running. Considering we're not having to pay film rent, shipping, most payroll, and I turned the heat down to 60 (plus it's getting warmer out anyway), advertising, and the electricity needed to run the projection/sound, I think we'll be OK. I won't be as optimistic if they slap on a shelter-in-place order and shut us down completely that way.


                          • #58
                            The Saskatchewan government issued an official shutdown order for all theatres (bars, nightclubs, etc) last Friday. So even if I hadn't already shut 'er down, I'd be shut down now due to the order.

                            I just finished putting the last coat of paint on my new wainscot that I installed at the switchback on the ramp into the auditorium. While I was at it I re-painted the walls around the ramp too since they looked rather shabby beside the newly painted wainscot. Now it looks beautiful again, and the wheelchairs shouldn't beat it up as much now.

                            I wonder when anyone other than me will ever see it, though....


                            • #59
                              It's good to hear that the popcorn to go is a success!

                              I suppose we could have done it as well, but with the shelter in place initiatives and the recent confirmed cases being right in our county now, I just assume stay closed at this point.

                              And, like you said Mike, with the expenses dropping to near 0 we should be just fine. I removed all the registers and concession items out. The heat is completely off. (It's finally staying above freezing most nights). All of our equipment is off, except the projector which I kept on standby.

                              I guess with all of the films being pushed down a couple months, we should have more content than we can shake a stick at when it comes time to open again. I guess there's something positive. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. By the time this is said and done, you could probably play a film of paint drying and have a line waiting. I know this is going to drive folks crazy having to stay home for 3 weeks. (As a gamer, I see no issue with this. )


                              • #60
                                Another issue that has occurred to me: If this goes on for long a lot of (maybe all of) my candy and drinks and whatnot will expire. Most of that stuff has a "best before" date stamped on it and I don't know if people would want to buy it (or if I would want to sell it) after that date.