ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

China Re-Opens First Movie Theater Since Coronavirus Shut Down


But not a single customer showed up.

After shutting down for nearly two months due to the coronavirus, a cinema in China finally re-opened their doors this week to consumers, but unfortunately for them not a single person came in. According to Variety, the Zhongying Golden Palm Cinema in Urumqi, the capital of China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang, attempted a soft re-open on Monday for the first time since January 26, announcing 22 scheduled screenings on its official social media account the night before.

The cinema chose to run a selection of four second-run Chinese titles — two patriotic films made to praise the Communist Party, “Liberation” and “My People, My Country,” crime thriller “Sheep Without a Shepherd” and animal animation “Spycies.” Meanwhile, they also released four other animated titles for children, all of which didn’t attract a single person to come watch.

As of midnight Sunday, the Xinjiang region has had no new confirmed coronavirus cases for 27 consecutive days. Golden Palm planned to reopen after receiving notices that it was okay to do so from both the local government and the local propaganda bureau, it said.

“We can’t stay closed forever. We can only cooperate with the notices, and test the situation a bit, and see what feedback we get from the public,” Ding said, adding that some four or five other multiplexes in Urumqi were also in the midst of attempts to reopen. But without a paying public, his cinema is losing much more money by running empty than it would if it remained shut. “If there are no new films, it makes no difference if we’re open or not. At the moment, we only have these few films; we have to wait and see if there will be new movies released.”

The cinema currently has just three people on staff, and they’ve reportedly been working hard to disinfect the joint before and after each movie is shown. People who choose to attend will also have to have their temperatures taken prior to entry, and they have to wear masks. They’ve also been advised to purchase tickets that aren’t right next to each other.

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