As reported by OMDIA, several movie theaters around the world are planning re-openings with restrictions.

Australian cinemas are targeting mid-July as a restart date, as part of a second phase of gradual easing. It will be up to each State to decide on the timing. One of the conditions of re-opening for exhibitors will be a suitable slate of movies to entice the public back into their cinemas. The re-opening will be accompanied by a raft of hygiene and distancing measures.

In Bulgaria cinemas are set to reopen on 18 May, selling tickets for up to 30% of capacity and observing strict rules for social distancing

In China, cinemas, along with some other entertainment and leisure facilities (eg.museums) can re-open as long as they take measures such as limiting attendance to control crowds and pre-ordering tickets online, according to a guideline from China’s State Council on May 8. No specific timing on this re-opening was given. Venues should strengthen ventilation and implement daily cleaning and disinfection, it added, while members of the public should continue to wear masks in public places. Wanda has confirmed that it is looking at how to re-open its cinemas.

Cinemas in Denmark will be allowed to open from 8 June, along with museums, theatres and zoos. The current limit on gatherings is 10 people and this will increase to between 30 and 50 people depending on the type of event.

In one of Europe’s largest cinema markets, Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region, the most populous state in the country, will allow cinemas to re-open from 30 May. Measures include a minimum distance of 1.5m between people. German States of Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein are also both planning to reopen cinemas on 18 May. They account for just over a quarter of the country’s screens. The state of Hessen is looking to allow opening from 15 May. In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the date for re-opening is set at 25 May, with a capacity of 75 people and a distance apart of 1.5m.

In Iceland, cinemas were allowed to re-open from 4 May with a capacity limit of 50 people per screen.

In Ireland, cinemas have a date of 10 August on re-opening, with social distancing measures to be in effect. This is the same for bars and restaurants.

Japan’s cinemas have begun the process of re-opening with major circuit Toho opening up 10 sites in less affected prefectures from 15 May, after the government announced easing measures in these 34 prefectures. Aeon Cinemas is also opening 27 sites from 18 May. This does not include Tokyo and Osaka (two of the remaining 13 prefectures) which remain under emergency measures until at least the end of May. Sites will operate with capacity limits, social distancing and masks for staff and patrons.

Cinemas in Latvia were allowed to open from the 12 May although very few, if any, have done so.

Cinemas in New Zealand will be allowed to re-open from today, May 14th, along with shopping malls, cafes and gyms. These activities will be required to have physical distancing and strict hygiene measures in place.

Norway’s cinemas have re-opened and some figures shared show that 30 sites opened, out of 200 in total. These generated a total of just over 7,000 admissions over the weekend (Friday to Sunday). There were 225 screenings on Friday, 276 on Saturday and 322 on Sunday.

In the Netherlands, cinemas will be allowed to open from 1 June, with a 30-person capacity per site. From 1 July, assuming all goes well, that number will be increased to 100 people, which is around 25% capacity.

In Portugal, cinemas will be allowed to re-open from 1 June if the preceding phases of re-opening go to plan.

Poland will allow film and TV production to recommence from 18 May, with measures in place which are being worked out. The government is also allowing outdoor and drive-in cinemas to re-open with social distancing measures in place. Other countries that are allowing shooting now or in the near future include Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Greece, Czech Republic, UK and parts of Spain. Iceland is allowing international shoots back into the country from June 15.

Singapore is also keeping cinemas shut until 1 June at the earliest.

South Korea has begun to open its cinemas, with lead exhibitor Cj CGV opening up 36 sites at the end of April, and Lotte Cinema also opened six sites on April 30th. Megabox opened 11 sites last week. There are social distancing and hygiene measures in place.

Spain has already said that cinemas will be allowed to re-open in Phase 2, from around 25 May, with a maximum capacity of one third.

UK Cinema Association has said that cinemas could be ready for a re-opening of cinemas by the end of June. Today, the government set out more details on a re-opening plan and stated that cinemas can open as from 4 July 2020. This date would just about fit in with the opening of Tenet in mid-July, giving staff and customers two weeks to get used to the operational issues that social distancing and hygiene measures will require.

In the Ukraine, the government has said that cinemas will be allowed to open from 10 June.

In the USA, a small number of cinemas did open in Texas such as Santikos Entertainment, which opened three of its nine sites. Circuit was showing older films for $5 a ticket and was serving popcorn. Austin-based EVO Entertainment is opened two sites on May 4th. Attendance is limited to 25% of capacity.

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