The worldwide entertainment industry ground to halt in March as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic. The lockdown has been across the board with no films, or scripted TV shows being made, and of course, no cinemas are currently open for business. According to Variety, "U.K. exhibitors are presenting evidence to the government that would allow them to safely reopen doors by the end of June." Speaking exclusively to Variety, Phil Clapp (Chief Executive of the UK Cinema Association) had this to say.
"We’ve made representations to government on the safeguards which U.K. cinemas would look to have in place for audiences and staff alike upon re-opening, and have asked that consideration be given – with these in mind – to allow cinemas to open by end June."
These comments echo those made by VUE Cinemas Chief Executive Tim Richards to the BBC in a recent interview.
"We are seeing our markets in Europe opening before ours. We are trying to work with the government to demonstrate we are not like sporting fixtures and pop concerts. We can control how many people come into our cinemas at any one time - we have the ability to control the exit and entrance."
It remains unclear what measures will be taken to ensure customers safety, but limiting the number of people in any given screening seems like a given. While it is an encouraging step that tentative plans are in motion for cinemas to reopen, it will ultimately be the Government that will decide if it is safe. Currently, the summer movie season hasn't been fully cancelled with Christopher Nolan's highly-anticipated Tennant still scheduled for July 17. Disney's delayed live-action remake of Mulan lands a week later, but at this stage, those dates are by no means a guarantee.