With California Gov. Gavin Newsom potentially poised to make an announcement easing COVID-19 restrictions on movie theaters this week, the industry anticipates at least the semblance of a summer season.
The news will come as a relief to movie theaters, which have been shut since mid-March, and studios as well which have holding back on expensive event movies. Warner Bros. Christopher Nolan movie Tenet is the hopeful bullseye to bring sheltered moviegoers back on July 17, but the studio will need a majority of the world’s markets to go with that title. Nonetheless, having Los Angeles open helps considerably. Prior to Tenet, Solstice Studios is set to open the Russell Crowe road rage movie Unhinged on July 1 to assist movie theaters to return to order with what is looked to be 50% capacity restrictions, staggered seating, and of course heightened cleaning procedures, and possibly the testing of attendees’ temperatures.
Drive-In theaters were recently given the go-ahead to reopen, venues such as the Mission Tiki in Monclair, the Roadium in Torrance, and the Paramount in Paramount, CA.
As with the proposed guidelines to reopen film and television productions, reopening cinemas does also have the hurdle of public health to cover first. Specifically, that confirmed cases of the coronavirus and deaths from the respiratory illness continue to to rise in Los Angeles county and hospitalizations are also going up.
We hear a similar process is underway over in New York State too, but it might be several more weeks before the doors are truly open on cinemas over there.
Deadline reached out to Gov. Newsom’s office, but has received no response.