How are Malls Preparing for the Reopening of Cinemas?

By Renzo Guevara
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As a regular film viewer, the closing of the cinemas left a noticeable void in my life. It was necessary to protect the public from everyone’s favorite COVID-19 and so we had to all suck it up and deal with watching the latest releases on small screens. Now almost 2 years later, we’re finally starting to open up and I can’t be more excited if not, a little bit nervous.

Troubled Viewing

The film industry collectively lost their cool when the pandemic hit. Studios weren’t sure about how to distribute their films which caused trouble for cinemas. Either they weren’t allowed to open or they didn’t have anything to show.

Now what?

For a while, conversations about the survivability of the industry began to be more common. With streaming services becoming more and more popular even prior to the pandemic, now it even had more leverage as a business model since it had the main draw of watching a film all from the safety of your own home.

There have been a few from around the world who have tried to reopen every now and then only to be mandated by the government to shut down. Despite a rocky situation, people had no doubt that cinemas will bounce back. People just love it too much to let it fade away.

Let me in… let me iiin.

We all have some semblance of normality back in our lives after experiencing a pandemic mandated house arrest. Every day, I try to tell myself I’ll experience walking into that dark hallway thinking I’m about to forget the rest of the world exists in 2 hours.

And it seems the rest of the world thinks so as well.

Given that establishments such as retail stores and restaurants are starting to open up, there are claims that a cinema is safer than any of those environments. Less talking, movements, more opportunities for social distancing, and everyone is more focused on just watching instead of interacting with each other.

For the Philippines, it’s been an opportunity that’s been long awaited. With the multiple surge of cases and even the sudden arrival of the deadly delta variant, plans to reopen the economy have been stagnant and troublesome.

November 10, 2021 is the day we’ve all been waiting for out here. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. There are (as expected) a few things that must be done in order to be allowed to experience the cinemas.

Typical standard procedures such as temperature checks, sanitizing the area before and after screenings, social distancing, and face masks are all there but what I imagine will be a controversial condition for some would be the mandatory vaccine requirement.

It’s a slightly more comforting thought knowing that malls are taking strides to improve ventilation in the cinemas to hopefully help lessen the spread of the virus should there be any.

As excited as I am and as much as I miss the experience, I don’t know yet if I’m ready to return. It may not be a full comeback but, at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Pretty cool, right?