Published Aug 06, 2020As COVID-19 restrictions begin to lift in many countries, movie theatres have started reopening in droves. Even with physical distancing protocols in place, it's now evident that the cinema industry appears to be in the early stages of healing, as nearly half of the world's theatres have restarted operations.
According to Gower Street data obtained by Variety, the global market saw an increase from 28 percent of operating theatres to 54 percent between July 18 and 25.
These numbers are largely due to new eased restrictions on indoor gatherings in China, which allowed for a 54 percent increase (from zero) operating theatres after taking effect on July 20. In the U.K., theatre chain Cineworld began reopening many of its locations during that period as well.
Conversely, while numbers of open cinemas increase worldwide, American theatres are actually decreasing. Last week, the number of operating theatres fell from 1,000 to 950 south of the border — 64 percent of which are outdoor drive-ins that don't run the same risks as their indoor counterparts.
Thanks to loosened coronavirus restrictions in Canada, the number of operating theatres rose over 200 for the first time since lockdown began. This news follows Cineplex's victory in its battle with the Ontario government over occupancy restrictions in theatres.
Last month, Cineplex laid off over 130 employees as a result of the loss of business due to shutdowns. Meanwhile, drive-in theatres and venues continue to pop up around the country as a result of fewer limitations on outdoor gatherings.