Are Movie Theaters Safe During a Pandemic?


cielodlp on Flickr

This is a photo of a movie theater taken over a decade ago. Familiar lights and sounds have recently started to pop back up with movie theaters opening once again.

George Murnock, Staff Writer

Are you going to be able to watch Wonder Woman 1984 in classic movie theatre’s like you’re used to? Turns out, yes. AMC theatres reopened all of its establishments on August 20th, following were many other chains such as Regal and Cinemark. Fans all across the country have finally been able to enjoy the exciting movie experience that they love. However, from a health standpoint, is it safe? 

Health officials are far from pleased with the decision to reopen movie theatres. Anne Rimoin a professor of epidemiology at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health states, “The virus is transmitted through droplets when we talk, laugh, and breathe. A movie theater is a place where you sit with a room full of strangers eating and drinking for two to three hours with sub-optimal ventilation,” explains Rimoin. “It’s exactly the type of scenario we need to be

avoiding to reduce the opportunity for the virus to spread.” For movie theatre chains to meet the demands for coronavirus safety measures, they needed things like, socially distanced and reserved seating, excessive cleaning of the movie screens, and temperature checks right when guests enter. AMC along with other chains made it a requirement to be wearing your face mask throughout the whole movie.

Back in March, the movie industry had to make some pretty drastic changes regarding their upcoming releases. Movies like Marvel’s Black Widow, A Quiet Place 2, F9, and No Time to Die, have all been postponed indefinitely, coronavirus has put a pause on not only movie releases but movie production as well. However, some major films such as Greyhound and Mulan have been released on several streaming services. As time goes by more and more of these movies will start to be shown in theaters and possibly released on services like Netflix and Hulu. 

Mark Zoradi the chief executive of Cinemark stated, “There is significant pent-up demand for the theatrical out-of-home experience, with the gigantic screens, immersive sight and sound technology and, of course, that irresistible movie theater popcorn.” Zoradi stated.

As movie theatre chains continue to reopen all over the country countless amounts of questions continue to pop up. One of the many questions being are we safe?