The majority of the nation’s movie theaters have been shuttered for nearly three months now, though the industry’s been cautiously optimistic that they could open in some capacity not too too far from now. The plan being thrown about was that the majority of them, some 90%, open on July 17, i.e., the date Christopher Nolan’s Tenet has kept even as the majority of Hollywood releases have been rescheduled. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, California is weighing the idea of opening them much, much earlier than expected.
As per the report, California state officials are considering opening multiplexes as early as June 12, i.e., by the end of this week. In fact, it is “expected” that Governor Gavin Newsom’s office will give the official go-head very soon.
There are, of course, some restrictions:
Newsom’s edict is expected to require that theaters limit capacity to 25 percent, or no more than 100 people per auditorium, whichever is less, sources say. If all goes well, this rule is expected to relax after about two weeks, giving exhibitors enough time to ramp up before Tenet arrives.
July 12 is also when parts of California will be open for the first time in months, among them, according to ABC 7, schools, day camps, bars, gyms, campgrounds and professional sports, albeit also with modifications. The Los Angeles area is one of the largest moviegoing markets in the nation.
Most movie theaters across the country closed down on March 20 as the country went into quarantine to slow down the coronavirus pandemic. Only drive-ins and a handful of independent theaters have remained open during the crisis.