After over a year of closures, the movie business looks like it’s close to fully running again. At least in California, but many states will likely follow with their own dates. California will reopen movie theaters at full capacity in two months.
According to Governor Gavin Newsom, California will get rid of their tiered opening system by June 15, allowing businesses to operate as usual. For movie theaters, this will eliminate capacity limits and allow full seating. The state will, however, keep their mask mandate.
This move will undoubtably breathe life into a struggling business. It was previously unclear if opening theaters would matter if people didn’t feel comfortable going. But after L.A. and New York opened at only 25% capacity, Godzilla vs. Kong took home the biggest pandemic opening. At 100% capacity, big summer releases must be excited.
Just recently, on April 5, California allowed Los Angeles movie theaters to raise capacity to 50%. Even before the June 15 date, theaters will likely be allowed to expand capacity limits in preparation, although no announcement has been made yet. This will allow films that open just before June 15, like “Cruella” and “A Quiet Place: Part 2,” which open on May 28, to still see success.
Big films that come out after June 15 may be able to take in a much bigger box office haul. “F9” (June 25), “Top Gun: Maverick” (July 2), and “Black Widow” (July 9) are among the biggest summer blockbusters.
Of course, while this date was part of a formal announcement, things could change. If vaccine rollout slows or variants cause prolonged spikes, California could push this date back. But for now, it’s nice to at least have a date of when the movie industry may be booming once again.