Multiplex cinemas have been closed in many parts of the country for three months or more, and the “hottest” part of the summer movie season is about to be over.
The continued viability of some of the major theater chains is now in question. AMC Theaters, the world’s largest chain of movie houses made an announcement a month ago that it was “doubtful” that it could survive the shutdown, having lost somewhere between $2.1 and $2.4 billion in the second quarter of 2020.
In California, where the desire to get movie theaters open again is probably felt with the most sense of urgency because of its link to the entertainment industry, some movie theaters were allowed to open in mid-June, but only at 25% occupancy. But even then, individual California counties were given final authority on when to allow theater chains to open and most counties in California have not done so yet. Now we are seeing increases in positive test numbers in many states which will likely lead to further delays in the authorization to reopen theaters in California and elsewhere