How the Pandemic has Affected the Movie Industry


Meghan Braddy, Copy Editor

The coronavirus has negatively impacted the way the world has worked for months now, but nothing has been as decimated by the coronavirus more than the American movie industry. While other businesses and events were allowed to proceed with multiple safety precautions pretty quickly after the lockdown was lifted, movie theaters have been one of the last things to reopen after the pandemic hit. The reasoning is because whether you’re sitting in close quarters with a stranger or are sharing your popcorn with friends, there are multiple different ways you can spread the virus when sitting in a movie theater. This caused many people to panic to the point where they wondered if they’d ever be able to sit inside of a movie theater again. Rejoicing in the actual experience of watching a movie on the big screen is something that is very important to most. This is why they’ll be pleased to know that movie theaters are slowly reopening again, but new changes have been made to adapt to the circumstances mankind is currently facing today. 

Adapting to the circumstances of COVID-19 at a movie theater seems pretty difficult, considering movie theaters are normally packed to the brim with the public filling up each and every seat. This year, movie theaters can’t sell as many tickets as usual because of social distancing precautions. The viewers of each movie now have to sit multiple seats away from each other, unless it’s with their own family members, in order to follow safety guidelines. Face masks are also required as soon as you step foot into the theater and are only allowed to be taken off when eating or drinking a beverage. Purchasing tickets online in advance is now fully  required in order to limit contact with staff members and other people who are susceptible to the virus. The same rule also applies when purchasing concessions and food items. Now, theaters have created an app or website for their customers to purchase their orders and have it ready for pickup when they get there. All of this along with hand sanitizer being available throughout each facility, plexiglass being placed in various transactional areas, and an increased frequency of cleaning have been proved to be very effective in the reopening of various theaters in the United States. 

Junior Amiah Reinbold said, “One of my favorite things to do is go to a movie with my friends and family every year, and although things are very different this year in the face of COVID-19, I’m still very excited to go back to a movie theater so I can enjoy the experience of going to a movie. I really appreciate all of the safety precautions being put in place so everyone can still have a safe and exciting time with their loved ones.” 

Although all of these safety precautions are being implemented in movie theaters so they can be reopened, the entertainment industry is still hurting as it continues to adapt to COVID-19 circumstances. There are fewer new movie releases than normal, which has dramatically impacted guest attendance. Many movie theaters decided that it was pointless to reopen until a consistent movie schedule has been established again. On top of that, some movies that have been released this year are only available on various steaming platforms such as AppleTv and YouTube Movies. This is because the creators of each movie would rather have people buy the movie online instead of attending a movie theater where their audiences can possibly be put at risk for contracting the virus. A solution to this has been the recent trend during COVID-19 of customers being able to rent out an auditorium in the movie theater so they can have a private screening of a movie with just their friends and family, instead of multiple strangers. This is an idea that has been put out in various cinema chains in order to limit contact and prevent large cinema chains from running out of money by the end of the year. Multiple movie theater chains weren’t generating any revenue during the lockdown earlier this year; this is a way to replace what was lost. Costs to rent a private screening of a movie at a theater can start as low as $99 depending on the movie theater chain you wish to go to.