Your Voices is a simple concept created to encourage conversation and opinions between movie lovers. It works like this: I throw out a certain topic. After that I’ll make my case or share my opinions. Then it’s time for Your Voices. Head to the comments section and let me and your fellow moviegoers know your thoughts on the topic for that day!
Everyone reading this knows that 2020 has been a year like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the world on its head and affected our lives in numerous ways. Obviously there have been things related to the virus that are a lot more important than movies, but for today we’re talking about one of the bigger questions on every moviegoers mind: Is it safe for theaters to reopen?
This has been a hot topic for several weeks, ever since many theaters across the country have reopened their doors. But while many movie houses are welcoming back audiences, the country’s biggest markets (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco) remain closed. Adding another layer to the conversation, the movies that have braved releasing have been met with pretty tepid results. The biggest of course being “Tenet”. Christopher Nolan’s terrific mind-bending blockbuster hasn’t ushered in the big return theaters were hoping for. There is only one explanation – many people don’t feel safe returning to theaters.
I have been back to my favorite theater a total of five times since it reopened. To put it simply, each time I have felt very safe. Contrary to what some have said, going back to the theaters isn’t automatically a case of carelessness or “putting your life in danger“. Personally speaking I weighed a number of factors before making my decision to return. My theater’s safety protocols were at the top of the list. They have went above and beyond my state’s regulations for reopening. Mandatory masks, no-touch exchanges throughout the theater, blocked off seating, staggered show times to reduce hallway traffic, roaming cleaning and disinfecting teams, an assigned staff member for each showing to oversee viewers and after-show cleanup. This only touches on their extensive protocols. So I’m very comfortable returning to the theater and I’m ready for the big releases to arrive.
But that doesn’t mean everyone should be. Is every theater doing what my theater is doing? I doubt it. So that means you need to look closely at what ANY theater is doing to ensure customer safety before entering their doors. Also, these are unprecedented times and people’s levels of concern vary. If you truly feel in danger by going to the theater, don’t go. You wouldn’t enjoy yourself anyway and it isn’t worth the stress and anxiety. So make the decision that’s best for your state of mind and body. I think attending a movie theater can absolutely be done safely. But it takes theaters going the extra mile to earn the trust of moviegoers. Now what say you?