Beijing cinemas to reopen
Published: Jul 21, 2020 08:33 PM

Audiences sit separately and watch a film at a cinema in Shanghai on July 20 (photo: Yang Hui/GT)

Following on the heels of many other cities in China, Beijing announced on Tuesday that cinemas in low-risk areas will reopen from Friday under strict social-distancing and protective measures.

Reservations for seats is requested after Beijing cinemas resume operations starting Friday, and online real-name booking is required. Tickets will be strictly limited to 30 percent below capacity for each screening, Wang Jiequn, head of the Beijing Film Administration told the media during a press conference on Tuesday.

The announcement came after cinemas reopened in low-risk areas in many other parts of the Chinese mainland on Monday, after being shut since January due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The day was regarded as "historic" by many moviegoers and industry insiders.

"Beijing finally caught up with the pace of other cities," exclaimed some netizens on social platforms. 

"This is good news for both Beijing movie fans and the film industry as the city is one of the most important 'battlefields' for movie producers and one of the biggest 'ticket pools' in the country," Shi Chuan, deputy chairman of the Shanghai Film Association, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

The Beijing government stipulates that cinemas in low-risk areas can open from Friday, under the premise of strict implementation of epidemic control and prevention measures. Cinemas in medium- or high-risks areas must remain closed. 

Cinemas planning to open should submit a list of movies they plan to screen to the film administration before noon Thursday, it said. 

Media outlets on Monday reported that at least 835 cinemas in more than 120 cities screened films on Monday. Shanghai, Hangzhou and Changsha ranked in the top three, with 1,487, 768 and 543 screenings respectively.

Shi noted that the reopening of Beijing cinemas also delivers a message to Beijing residents and movie fans that the city has fully recovered from the last outbreak. 

The downgrade of the emergency response level from II to III shows that cases and spread of COVID-19 related to the Xinfadi market outbreak in Beijing has completely ended, Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The emergence of new single cases in the Chinese mainland might become a new normal, but Wu is confident that there will not be another outbreak as severe as the one in Wuhan at the beginning of this year. 

blog comments powered by Disqus