Back to the movies: A comprehensive list of when different countries have planned to re-open theatres!

Rhea Srivastava -

Back to the movies: A comprehensive list of when different countries have planned to re-open theatres!

One of the first social activities that the coronavirus pandemic put a halt on was watching movies at the theatre. Now, with world economies attempting to create plans to reopen basic services to get themselves back into order, it is only a matter of time that cinemas will also be looking at a new lease on life in the post-pandemic era. The Union Internationale des Cinemas (UNIC) has, hence, come up with a brief outline of how cinemas around the world can reopen services keeping in mind the rules of social distancing. Here is a calendar from around the world (provisional and subject to change).
 
Austria
Reopening date: May 29
 
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Reopening date: May 14
Federal authorities in the predominantly Serbian Republika Srpska announced on May 14 that cinemas and cultural institutions could reopen immediately.
 
Bulgaria
Reopening date: May 11
Health Minister Kiril Ananiev issued an order on May 11 allowing cinemas to reopen immediately.
 
China
Reopening date: Unknown
After all, cinemas had been closed since January 24, 500 cinemas reopened on the weekend March 20-22. However, they were ordered to close again on March 28, by order of the national film bureau. Exact dates for the next reopening is yet to be confirmed. 
 
Croatia
Reopening date: May 18
Cinemas have been allowed to reopen from May 18, but those located in shopping malls will have to wait for June 15.
 
Cyprus
Reopening date: July 14
Open-air cinemas will reopen as part of the country’s phase three between June 9 and July 13; indoor cinemas will reopen from July 14 as part of phase four.
 
Czech Republic
Reopening date: May 11
The final part of the Czech Republic’s five-step reopening process saw all businesses, including cinemas, reopen from May 11. 
 
Denmark
Reopening date: May 21
All 169 Danish cinemas have been shut since partial lockdown was announced by the government on March 12. Cinemas, along with other cultural institutions, are allowed to reopen from May 21.
 
Estonia
Reopening date: June 1
Large public events can take place again in Estonia from June 1, with a maximum of 1000 people for outdoor events and 500 for indoor events, at 50% maximum capacity. Cinemas are included in this.
 
Finland
Reopening date: June 1
Cinemas can reopen on June 1, with indoor gatherings limited to 500 people. The Finnish Film Foundation has received an extra €1m of government funding to secure the future of cinemas across the country.
 
France
Reopening date: June 22
The French government announced in late April that cinemas, along with other arts venues, will remain closed until least June 2. On May 28 it was announced that cinemas will be able to reopen from June 22. Large cultural events involving 5,000 or more people are banned until September at the earliest, with Cannes among the events to have suffered due to the ban.
 
Germany
Reopening date: May 15 – June 15
German reopening is taking place on a state level, with 14 of 16 states announcing dates as of June 1.
 
Greece
Reopening date: June 1 (outdoor cinemas)
Lockdown ended in Greece on May 4, with all businesses, including cinemas, able to open from early June.
 
Hong Kong
Reopening date: May 8
The government relaxed Covid-19 restrictions in early May, with cinemas opening from the second weekend of the month.
 
Iceland
Reopening date: May 4
Cinemas were permitted to reopen with a 50 person per screen limit on May 4; however, just a handful of the country’s 29 screens chose to do so. The government will reassess the situation in late May.
 
India
Reopening date: July 1 (tentative)
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued new guidelines on May 30 for phased re-opening of areas outside the containment zones. Reopening of cinemas halls, fall in phase III and the decision regarding restarting theatres will be taken after assessing the situation. ­
 
Theatres in many states had shut shop as a precautionary measure even before the nationwide lockdown was announced. While the exact date is not known yet, it looks like cinemas may be reopening by the first week of July. 
 
Ireland
Reopening date: August 10
The Irish government outlined its exit strategy on May 1, with cinemas part of the final phase starting on August 10.
 
Italy
Reopening date: June 15
A May 16 announcement said cinemas could reopen from June 15, limited to 200 people per room with compulsory social distancing measures.
 
Kosovo
Reopening date: June 1
A three-step reopening plan for the country will see cinemas reopen from June 1. 
 
Latvia
Reopening date: May 12
Although gatherings of 25 people and the reopening of all businesses (including cinemas) have been allowed since May 12, most cinemas have decided not to reopen yet, instead of planning a partial reopening in the coming weeks.
 
Lithuania
Reopening date: May 31
Indoor events, including cinemas, of under 30 people are permitted from May 31.
 
Luxembourg
Reopening date: May 29
The government has announced that cinemas can reopen from May 29; however, cinema operators have decided to open in a coherent manner on June 17.
 
Netherlands
Reopening date: June 1
A May 6 announcement said restaurants and cinemas could reopen on June 1.
 
Norway
Reopening date: May 7
Norway’s cinemas have been authorized to reopen from May 7 with a 50-person capacity, which will be increased to 200 people from June 15 if cases continue to drop.
 
Poland
Reopening date: June 6
The fourth stage of Poland’s lifting of restrictions will see cinemas allowed to reopen from June 6, with gatherings of up to 50 people authorised.
 
Portugal
Reopening date: June 1 (with limited capacity)
 
Romania 
Reopening date: Not before June 15
 
Slovakia
Reopening date: May 20
 
Slovenia
Reopening date: May 18
Slovenia became the first European nation to call an end to its epidemic on May 14, with all shops and businesses allowed to open from May 18. 
 
Spain
Reopening date: May 25-June 8
Under a four-phase plan announced on April 28, most businesses, including cinemas, should be able to open from May 25, in phase two. Phase three from June 8 could see an increase in the allowed capacity and opening of cinemas in malls. Any plan has to also be approved on a province level, with cinemas in major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona not expected to reopen before June 8.
 
South Korea
Reopening date: April 29
South Korean cinemas began to reopen over the four-day national holiday at the end of April.
 
Sweden
In line with the country-wide policy, cinemas in Sweden have not been instructed to close at any stage. Filmstaden, which is its largest exhibitor, closed its venue, but independent cinemas remained open. 
 
Switzerland
Reopening date: June 6
As the third phase of Switzerland’s reopening plan, cinemas can reopen from June 6.
 
UK
Reopening date: July 4 (provisional date, England only)
The UK government announced its exit strategy on May 10, indicating that cinemas could potentially reopen from July 4. 
 
Ukraine
Reopening date: June 10
As step three of the country’s five-step reopening plan, cinemas should be able to open from June 10. However, local authorities have been asked to postpone this date to July 1 to ensure proper implementation of sanitation measures. 
 
US
Reopening date: State-dependent
Cinemas are reopening in the US on a state-by-state basis from May beginning onwards. 
 


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