The White House has included movie theaters in Phase One of it proposed reopening plan. The Trump administration has announced a series of guidelines to opening the country in a set of phases. Movie theaters have been shut down since the middle of March and are hemorrhaging money by the day. Employees have been furloughed, executives are taking pay cuts, debt offerings have been put on the table, whispers of bankruptcy have been floating around, and more. Despite all of this, theaters are hoping to have their doors open by June 1st. With Donald Trump's new plan, some theaters, with some strict guidelines, may be able to open even sooner.
Each state is going through different things at the moment and it is up to the state Governors and local officials to decide when it will be safe to open businesses again. President Donald Trump announced his "Opening Up America Again" plan earlier this week, which includes a set of phases, each with different criteria, for states and cities to try and reopen. Movie theaters are included in Phase One if they meet these standards: "LARGE VENUES (e.g., sit-down dining, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship) can operate under strict physical distancing protocols."
The decision to reopen movie theaters in Phase One is still at a time when most employees are encouraged to work from home if possible, while citizens are urged to abstain from any non-essential travel. With that being said, opening up movie theaters during the first stage of the Trump administration's plan doesn't sound like the greatest idea, unless people live in a state that has not been hit hard by our current situation. State officials will have to gauge where they're at in order for everything to move forward.
By the time Governors and local officials feel that they can safely move into Phase Two, movie theaters "can operate under moderate physical distancing protocols," according to the White House. No specific time table has been offered, but this could very well meet the June 1st opening that many theater chains had hoped for. Some states, like Texas, could see theaters and other businesses open even sooner than that. Obviously, this will vary from state to state and it will have different outcomes, due to how volatile our current situation is.
California Governor Gavin Newsom is recommending everybody stay indoors and practice safe social distancing protocols until the middle of May, which is similar to other major cities across the Unites States. Under the White House's new plan, California would be able to try Phase One of the plan after May 15th, if Newsom believes it's safe to do so. With that being said, China tried to reopen theaters after a strict stay at home order and things started to worsen, leading to closures and staying indoors again. This will have to be a delicate balance for the time being and people will have to decide if they even want to go to a movie theater after all of this. You can head over to the official White House website to see more information on the different phases of the current plan to reopen America.