Texas Governor Greg Abbott is allowing movie theaters to open their doors this weekend. Nearly every theater in North America have been shut down since the middle of March. Along with theaters, restaurants, museums and retail stores will also reopen this Friday. While theaters can open, the major chains are not planning to open until early July to prepare for the few upcoming tentpole releases including “Tenet,” “Mulan,” and “Wonder Woman 1984.” Local theaters will be able to do their own thing as long as they follow social distancing guidelines.
Governor Abbott approves opening theaters this weekend
Governor Abbott understands some companies will choose to remain closed, saying “this is permission to open, not a requirement.” Abbott revealed that theaters and other similar establishments are to operate at only 25% capacity, which makes it financially uneconomical for them to operate. Texas originally planned to reopen businesses before Georgia opened up their businesses. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has faced backlash for opening up the state too soon. Many believe it’s too early to try and get back to normal.
Currently, barber shops, hair salons, bars, and gyms are not allowed to reopen this weekend. Abbott intends to have these businesses open by middle of May. NY Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing for people to remain indoors past the May 15th timeline. He has not announced an updated timeframe, but many are expecting him to push it till June 1st.
Movie theaters still face the issue of public not in a rush to watch films
While smaller movie theater chains are able to open up, they will be forced to follow strict CDC guidelines, which might not be financially worth it right away. No big tentpole movies are being released from studios until July, so they would end up screening older films, which could help art theaters. However, the question remains, if people want to visit movie theaters this soon or even in July when the major chains expect to be able be open.
Along with Texas and Georgia, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Alaska begun taking steps to reopen their economies. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he moved forward after receiving approval from Deborah Birx at the White House, and said he has the support of the Trump White House. Abbott was asked if he was worried about opening too early, he says “we got this.” Texas becomes the largest state to open up its economy thus far.
Texas becomes the latest state to allow theaters to reopen, though major chains are not expected to restart business until July. Theater owners will now have to wait and see how long it will take for moviegoers to return, and how they will respond to impact of the coronavirus.
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