Texas Governor Greg Abbott has announced that movie theaters will be permitted to open their doors Friday. Theaters across North America have been shut down since the middle of March. Restaurants, museums, and retail stores will also be able to reopen this Friday. While movie theaters are able to open, the major chains aren't planning on opening their doors until early July to prepare for the few major studio releases that are on the way, including Tenet, Mulan, and Wonder Woman 1984. However, local theaters will be able to do their own thing as long as they are following social distancing guidelines.

Greg Abbott realizes many companies will still choose to remain closed for the time being. "This is permission to open, not a requirement," Abbott said. The Texas Governor revealed that theaters and other establishments are allowed to operate at "only 25% capacity, which may make it uneconomical for many businesses to operate." Whatever the case may be, Texas had previously announced plans to reopen businesses before Georgie led the way, opening businesses last week. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has been heavily criticized for opening up the state. Many believe it's much too early to try and get back to normal.

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As for barber shops, hair salons, bars, and gyms, they are not permitted to reopen under this current initial phase. However, Greg Abbott aims to have those businesses open by the middle of May. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo commented earlier this morning on pushing for people to remain indoors past the initial May 15th timeline. He has yet to announce another date, but many are assuming it will be pushed to June 1st. As for California, the May 15th date is still holding, at least for now.

Even if smaller theaters are able to open up, they are going to have to follow strict guidelines, which might not be worth it right away. No new movies are coming out from the major studios until the middle of July, so they would have to be screening older titles, which might not be too bad for art theaters. But will people want to visit movie theaters this soon or even in July when the major chains expect to be able to open for business? That remains to be seen, but there will more than likely be a decent amount of people out and about, ready for the moviegoing experience.

In addition to Texas and Georgia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Alaska have been taking active steps to reopen their economies. Texas Governor Greg Abbott says he was given the official go ahead from Deborah Birx at the White House, and he says he has the Trump administration's blessing. When asked if he was worried about the reopening possibly being too early, Abbott said, "We are Texans. We got this." Texas is the largest state to attempt to open up its economy thus far. Variety was one of the first to announce that movie theaters will be able to be open this Friday in Texas.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick