China Orders All Movie Theaters to Re-Close For Coronavirus Concerns
Depressed American moviegoers looking for any semblance of hope that they will get to return to theaters sooner rather than later have recently looked to China, who’s seen new cases of coronavirus drop to almost zero, and has slowly ended their regional lockdowns and quarantines — including the ones concerning movie theaters. In recent days, several hundred Chinese theaters reopened their doors. While attendance was low, just two days ago there was news that theaters would be getting an influx of classic titles in the hopes of bringing people back to the big screen.
Days later, all that is going away, as Deadline reports that China has ordered all the open theaters to re-close their doors, amidst concerns that coronavirus may re-emerge in the country as the disease spreads around the rest of the world:
The country’s national film bureau has contacted all exhibitors today saying that venues must be closed again, with no immediate timeframe for re-opening. The news has begun to spread across popular social media service Weibo.
China is several months ahead of the United States in terms of dealing with the virus — and thus far seems far more successful in containing its spread. And if they aren’t ready to open movie theaters, that means American screens will be shut down for even longer.
How long? No one knows. But right now, the news is not looking good. Obviously, staying closed is the right thing to do for everyone; we need to stay isolated and safe. And opening theaters early could contribute to the spread of the virus — and if people don’t feel safe in crowds, they’re not going to go back to the theater yet anyway. But again: It helps to have something to feel hopeful about, or look forward to. For now, we just have to keep looking.
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