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Corona Virus Effect On Theatres In The USA

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  • Martin McCaffery
    replied
    Given Alabama and Montgomery are currently virus hotspots, this is, at best, wishful thinking.
    (as far as I know, they do not have DCI, so these are all Blu Ray screenings)

    Montgomery Advertiser
    July 28, 2020


    It's movie time! Montgomery Performing Arts Centre offering films, food and more
    Shannon Heupel
    Montgomery Advertiser

    The River Region's movie theater experience is making a comeback this weekend at the Montgomery Performing Arts Centre.

    On Monday, MPAC announced it was launching a movie series starting Friday that goes through the end of August. The timing is right, since the touring music industry that usually fills MPAC's stage is currently out of commission because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Along with that, MPAC general manager Allen Sanders said he wanted to give people a safe outing experience. It's a chance to get out of the house and go watch a movie.

    "Everybody has been kind of locked up for quite a few months," said Sanders.

    MPAC kicks the series off Friday at 7:30 p.m. with "Just Mercy," a 2019 film shot in Montgomery. Based on Equal Justice Initiative founder and attorney Bryan Stevenson's memoir, it stars Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson.

    On Saturday at 8 p.m. they'll show this year's long-awaited "Bad Boys" sequel "Bad Boys for Life," starring Will Smith, Martin Lawrence and Vanessa Hudgens.

    Sunday, MPAC has two films planned: "O Brother Where Art Thou?" at 3 p.m., and "Just Mercy" at 6:30 p.m.

    There will be plenty of room to social distance in the theater, which has 1,800 seats. The movies will allow less than a third of that to be in attendance.

    "We can put 516 people in, which is a lot," Sanders said. "All the COVID-19 protocols and social distancing is in place."

    Protocols include temperature checks for guests as part of the security walk through.

    "We just want to make sure everybody is safe," Sanders said.


    Other movie selections for August include classics like "Casablanca" and "The Wizard of Oz," and thrillers like "Jaws" and "Jaws 2." There are cartoons for kids ("Trolls World Tour," "Frozen 2," and "Onward"), "Sonic the Hedgehog," two Godzilla flicks, and a couple of classic Michael Keaton "Batman" films. MPAC has even thrown in the 1977 Burt Reynolds comedy classic "Smokey and the Bandit."

    "There's something there for everybody," Sanders said.

    Ticket packages start at $10 each, which includes a box of popcorn and a drink.

    "That's a pretty good deal," Sanders said.

    Larger packages include other food offerings (chips, hamburgers, hotdogs).

    But it goes beyond snacks. Some packages include valet parking. There are a couple of packages for groups of four.


    For those who really want to make a night of it, there's even a $190 VIP package for two that includes all the movie's offerings, plus a one night stay at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center and breakfast for two.

    Tickets are only available through the MPAC box office. Reach them by phone at 334-481-5100.

    Depending on ongoing virus conditions and how August goes, the MPAC movies could continue into September. Sanders said he's already starting to look at movies for then.

    "You can watch it at home and all that, and I get it. And you probably have. Me too," Sanders said. "But it's nothing like getting out of the house and watching something on the big screen."

    Movie schedule

    Friday - Just Mercy - 7:30 p.m.

    Saturday - Bad Boys for Life - 8 p.m.

    Sunday - O Brother Where Art Thou? - 3 p.m., and Just Mercy - 6:30 p.m.

    Aug. 5 - Trolls World Tour - 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

    Aug. 9 - Casablanca - 3 p.m.

    Aug. 12 - Frozen 2 - 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

    Aug. 14 - Jaws 1 - 7:30 p.m.

    Aug. 15 - Jaws 1 4:30 p.m. and Jaws 2 8 p.m.

    Aug. 16 - Wizard of Oz 3 p.m., and Jaws 2 6:30 p.m.

    Aug. 19 - Onward - 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

    Aug. 21 - Godzilla 2014 7:30 p.m.

    Aug. 22 - Godzilla 2014 4:30 p.m., and Godzilla King of the Monsters 8 p.m.

    Aug. 23 - Tombstone 3 p.m., and Godzilla King of the Monsters 6:30 p.m.

    Aug. 26 - Sonic the Hedgehog - 10 a.m and 1 p.m.

    Aug. 28 - Batman 1989 - 7:30 p.m.

    Aug. 29 - Batman 1989 4:30 p.m., and Batman Returns 8 p.m.

    Aug. 30 - Smokey and the Bandit 3 p.m., and Batman Returns 6:30 p.m.

    Ticket options

    $10 - Show, popcorn and drink

    $15 - Show, popcorn, drink, chips, burger or hotdog

    $20 - Show, popcorn, drink, plus valet parking

    $25 - Show, popcorn, drink, chips, burger or hotdog plus valet parking


    $45 - Family 4 pack: 4 for show, 4 popcorns, 4 drinks, plus valet parking

    $65 - Family 4 pack with food: 4 for show, 4 popcorns, 4 drinks, 4 chips, 4 choice of burgers or hotdogs, plus valet parking

    $190 - VIP for 2: 2 movie, 2 burger or hotdog, plus valet parking, 1 night stay at hotel and 2 breakfasts

    Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Shannon Heupel at sheupel@gannett.com.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marcel Birgelen
    replied
    It's still Disney, so if they actually get around into executing this, you never know what kind of terms they come up with. Still, given the situation, maybe they'll be reasonable for once? I mean, to quote former Disney executive Michael Eisner: "What if the engine of an airplane falls out in full flight? What are the options? Anything is possible today..."

    I guess we've got a multi engine stall in full flight right now...

    Of course I was being facetious about the whole earthquake, volcano thing. But you have to admit it would be better for the movie industry to die an instant fiery incineration than to be slowly starved to death.
    It's probably a personal thing, but I think a little bit of cynicism is a good way to deal with an otherwise pretty dire situation.

    For something as complex as the movie industry, I think "crash and burn" has never been a realistic option, all "end-case-scenarios" would probably feature a long-winded decline into oblivion. But, the movie industry has gone south before. It's possibly as resilient as cockroaches, you can greatly diminish the population, but they'll never go entirely extinct, unless the entire planet gets utterly and completely atomized in an instant. It will even survive this whole pandemic in one form or another...

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike Blakesley
    replied
    rumor has it that they're going to put up many of their classics for proper theatrical re-releases, including advertising campaigns around the world for those releases.
    That would be awesome ... as long as they don't require stupid things like four week playtimes. I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

    Of course I was being facetious about the whole earthquake, volcano thing. But you have to admit it would be better for the movie industry to die an instant fiery incineration than to be slowly starved to death.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marcel Birgelen
    replied
    I hope you manage to hang in there...

    Originally posted by Mike Blakesley
    I was hoping it'd be a massive earthquake or a volcano that'd take us out, something a little thrilling at least.
    Many global extinction events aren't really all that thrilling. If the sun suddenly goes supernova, it's all gone in the blink of an eye. Even a big meteorite hitting the earth would probably just take mere seconds to incinerate anything that comes close to it. A gamma ray burst hitting Earth? Just a little blip... Volcanoes and earthquakes, even the big ones that create massive tsunamis are mere "local" events, even if they wipe you out, it's likely over here, we over here end surviving the whole mess...

    Almost nothing in this crazy world is certain anymore, but something is bound to move... Disney for example, is seemingly getting increasingly cash-strapped. That doesn't mean they're anywhere near bankrupt, because of the enormous set of assets on their balance sheets, but their liquidity after months of global closures of their theme parks, their cruises and almost all theater operations haven't done anything good to their liquidity. Also, the restart of their theme park, hotel business and retail businesses didn't really go well and cost them a lot of money. It doesn't help that their biggest properties are in some of the currently worst-hit places...

    Although they've kicked all their big releases down the road, simply because there is no production going on right now, rumor has it that they're going to put up many of their classics for proper theatrical re-releases, including advertising campaigns around the world for those releases. While this will not bring any new content into theaters, classic Disney re-releases have been pretty popular in the past and Disney has always been very reluctant in allowing theatrical screenings of any of them, outside of their own release cycles. Combined with some cross-media advertising campaigns, this may bring both Disney and the exhibition industry a little bit of relief.

    Leave a comment:


  • Frank Cox
    replied
    My wife asked me a while ago, if we close the theatre then where will we live? (We live in the theatre, in an apartment behind the screen). I told her that we'll just stay right here. We have the place fixed up the way we want it, we like it where we are, and moving is a giant pain in the ass. Why go anywhere else?

    I'm still hoping that things will get back to what they should be and life can get back to what it was. I never intended to retire, was planning to keep running my theatre until I just couldn't do it any more. And I've been forced to confront a new way of thinking. I don't like it. At all.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike Blakesley
    replied
    Egad. How long can this go on before a critical mass of theatres close permanently and the whole industry collapses when there aren't enough theatres left to be worth putting movies into theatres. I don't see how the big chains can keep on paying the fixed costs of keeping their locations in existence with zero revenue coming in. Those guys are in expensive locations and the property taxes and/or rent bills won't be getting any smaller, not to mention all of the other costs.
    Yeah. These are the questions I'm struggling with. The worst part for me is knowing that the big chains, all those executives have got is "other people's money" they're playing with. They could decide to close up tomorrow and most of them would just see a slight dip in their portfolio. (Of course, there are the hundreds of thousands of jobs that would be lost too, but I'm talking ownership here.) On the other end of the spectrum are guys like you and me who have their whole heart and soul into these places and there is an ever-increasing risk that we are going to lose it all. To a stupid virus. I was hoping it'd be a massive earthquake or a volcano that'd take us out, something a little thrilling at least.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marcel Birgelen
    replied
    Originally posted by Geoff Jones View Post

    Hah - I'm good, but not that good.
    It shouldn't be difficult to come up with a new script involving dinosaurs that's better than any of the latest Jurassic World movies. Also, it shouldn't be difficult to come up with special effects that are better than that of A Sound of Thunder, I'm almost convinced I could do better myself. So, if we set the bar low, motion capture can be done via Zoom, just like all other recordings, really. All live-action actors get a free, green cardboard screen.

    Leave a comment:


  • Frank Cox
    replied
    I see that the theatre in Yorkton (owned by the second largest theatre chain in Canada) has closed again effective today.

    So that leaves just me and the drive-in at Wolseley as the only places in this entire area of the province that are still operating.

    Egad. How long can this go on before a critical mass of theatres close permanently and the whole industry collapses when there aren't enough theatres left to be worth putting movies into theatres. I don't see how the big chains can keep on paying the fixed costs of keeping their locations in existence with zero revenue coming in. Those guys are in expensive locations and the property taxes and/or rent bills won't be getting any smaller, not to mention all of the other costs.

    At some point the movie companies will have to release their movies and get some return out of them; having them sitting on the shelf isn't bringing in anything at all for anyone. And since they're all made with borrowed money won't the lenders be agitating for some kind of payback?

    Leave a comment:


  • Geoff Jones
    replied
    Maybe the next movie should be directed and recorded via Zoom...

    Now, you're pretty good at writing stories, aren't you? :P
    Hah - I'm good, but not that good.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marcel Birgelen
    replied
    Originally posted by Geoff Jones View Post
    I'm genuinely frightened about the future of cinemas.
    Maybe the next movie should be directed and recorded via Zoom...

    Now, you're pretty good at writing stories, aren't you? :P

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike Blakesley
    replied
    A Quiet Place Part II and Top Gun: Maverick haven't moved to 2022, at least not yet, anyway.
    You're right -- thanks -- I mis-typed. I have fixed it in my original post. That's what I get for not proofreading myself.

    Leave a comment:


  • Geoff Jones
    replied
    So now the news that Quiet Place 2 and Top Gun 2 are moving "to 2022" and Disney is kicking all of their next seven or eight years' worth of Christmas releases down the road by a year. That's four Avatar movies and three Star Wars movies, at least.
    A Quiet Place Part II and Top Gun: Maverick haven't moved to 2022, at least not yet, anyway.

    Paramount Pushes 'A Quiet Place Part II,' 'Top Gun: Maverick' to 2021
    A Quiet Place Part II is being delayed from Sept. 4, 2020, to April 23, 2021, while Top Gun: Maverick — which sees Tom Cruise reprise his titular role — is moving from Dec. 23, 2020, to July 1, 2021.
    In related news, 'Bill & Ted 3' to Hit VOD and Select Cinemas Simultaneously.
    Bill & Ted Face the Music will bypass a traditional theatrical route to debut simultaneously on premium VOD and in any cinemas willing to play the threequel Sept. 1.



    I'm genuinely frightened about the future of cinemas.

    Leave a comment:


  • Marcel Birgelen
    replied
    Yeah, I've read the news... it's going to look pretty ugly. I wasn't really surprised about Avatar 2 though... That movie is what fusion is for science... it's always just a few years away from release.

    I don't think the studios are necessarily out there to strangle the exhibition industry, but I guess they simply don't care too much either. I think they just expect the industry still to be mostly there, once they start churning out product again. But they may be in for a surprise if there's nobody left to play their billion-dollar features anymore in front of an audience that actually pays top-dollar per pair of eyeballs...

    Until that time, maybe everybody should play TikTok's greatest hits of the week? Maybe some live sports? Free entrance, but just pay for concessions? Maxi-Grindhouse-Tripple-Features-of-Bygone-Junk? Karaoke?

    Leave a comment:


  • Mike Blakesley
    replied
    So now the news that Quiet Place 2 and Top Gun 2 are moving "to 2021" and Disney is kicking all of their next seven or eight years' worth of Christmas releases down the road by a year. That's four Avatar movies and three Star Wars movies, at least.

    I finally figured out their plan..... they are going to choke us to death.
    Last edited by Mike Blakesley; 07-24-2020, 12:57 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • Ronda Love
    replied
    Originally posted by Lyle Romer View Post
    From the available data, what is known is that if you are under 55 years old, you are extremely unlikely to die if you contract this virus unless you have an underlying medical condition.

    Although not widely reported, the most significant underlying condition that is likely to lead to death in people under 55 years old is significant obesity.

    In Florida, the current case fatality rate for the 45-54 age group (this doesn't account for the unknown number of undetected cases) is currently 0.38%. To put that in a little perspective, the odds that a 45 year old American male will die from any cause within the next year is 0.31% and the odds that a 54 year old American male will die from any cause within the next year is 0.72%. This data is from a page about life insurance that used 2014 Social Security Administration data. It is available at https://www.finder.com/life-insurance/odds-of-dying.

    The actual infection fatality rate for COVID-19 is up to 10 times lower than observed due to the undetected cases. Even if we did absolutely nothing to prevent the spread, the chance of contracting the virus is not 100% (theories say herd immunity will happen at 70% of the population infected). With any kind of measures in place, the chance of contracting it will be far lower than that. If you take the infection fatality rate (even not adjusted) and use a high estimate of a 40% chance to contract the virus in the first place, a random 45 year old in the USA has less than a 0.16% chance to contract SARS-CoV-2 AND die from it which is significantly lower than the chance of the same 45 year old male would die of some random cause over the next year without COVID-19 being in existence.
    There's a lot here not quite accounted for from the data I've seen.
    #1) Hospitalization seems to be running at 10% of symptomatic cases, with Intensive care and ventilator required in 1% of symptomatic cases.
    #2) Significant organ damage, is likely cause in later deaths - Particularly heart, lung, pancreas, and brain. Plus there's clotting disorders creating strokes, heart attacks and other problems. Particularly in the US this data is being willfully ignored in many places.
    #3) If you catch the virus and you live, you are now in completely unknown territory for longer term complications. Even if you were asymptomatic, even if you recovered without any serious complications immediately. Viruses are damned tricky. Ask anyone dealing shingles.
    #4) Over 40% of the US adult population is now obese, kids.rates are closing in on 20%.
    #5) When the hospitals become overwhelmed, which is happening right now in FL, TX, etc, the death rate FROM ALL CAUSES starts to climb significantly. Triage has to be performed before admittance, and many who would have lived had an ICU bed been available, will now die. Not including the number of regular patients, like cancer, etc who stop getting treated because of lack of available safe spaces, fear of catching the illness, not enough medical staff, etc. Current US death rate from all causes is up 23% and that's without the toll this latest bump up in cases has fully hit. https://www.ft.com/content/a26fbf7e-...3-955839e06441

    Another thing to consider - the death/injury rate from cars, like the death and quality of life scores in cancer treatments, are from many years of study, with a ton of money, time, thought and energy put into gathering, reviewing, revising, remeasuring the data and the conclusions. This has only been around for a few months.

    Stay safe out there, people.

    Leave a comment:

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