Movie Theatres Suffer During COVID-19

Kayla Gidzinski, Centurion Staff

Over the last several months, the Coronavirus pandemic has put several companies out of businesses, especially theatres across America.

Earlier this month, Regal Cinemas shut their doors down for the second time since the pandemic, leaving 536 theaters empty once again. Over 45,000 people could lose their jobs as there’s no timetable for when Regal will reopen.

Movie lovers have resorted to watching films on streaming services. Netflix has seen an increase in new users from the first quarter of 2020 with 16 million, and throughout the year 27 million new subscribers.

Disney Plus is another major streaming service that’s gotten over 60 million new subscribers in less than a year. Amazon Prime is also seeing an increase in subscribers by over 50 million.

With movies moving exclusively to an online platform, will theatres survive the aftermath of COVID-19? Bucks students express their thoughts over the subject matter.

Aidan Car, 19, shared whether he will be attending movie theatres once the pandemic ends.

“I personally believe that theatres will eventually reopen as time goes on. Once they open back up, I’m sure they will do everything they can to take precautions. The use of masks, heavy sanitation, and social distancing will do the trick. If individuals keep up with those three things, there should not be an issue,” said Car.

Car is a business major who resides in Doylestown and is excited for cinemas and its potential relaunch, rather than scared.

“Ever since I was a child, going to see a movie was almost a hobby of mine. My family and I regularly spent most of our weekends searching for a new film to watch. It’s sad to know many theatres are running out of business due to the virus, though I hope there is still hope for them to open back up soon,” Car said.

Katherine Centeno, 19, psychology major, said, “Given the circumstances we are under, it’s difficult to predict if the movies will start up again. It appears the coronavirus is becoming worse as we speak. The number of cases is rising each day and I feel that it is too soon to tell. Also, some people do not follow proper safety measures to ensure COVID-19 will not spread.”

As of recent, reported cases of COVID-19 have spiked within the States, more so in more rural states, leaving millions of lives at risk.

“Honestly, as much as I miss visiting the movie theatres, I don’t think I’ll be going if they decide to reopen. There’s still a lot of people who need to practice avoiding physical contact with one another, hence why cases are rising,” Centeno stresses.

Movie theatres are slowly beginning to reopen across the U.S., but because of social distancing protocols, it will be quite a while until we get back to the midnight premiere-packed theatres.