After receiving a historic two million Covid-19 vaccines this weekend, Los Angeles County is reopening their movie theaters on Monday. Governor Newsom announced that the county is exiting the “Purple” tier and entering the “Red” tier, meaning indoor dining, indoor fitness, theme parks, and our beloved cinemas will open with limited capacity. The reopening goes into effect on 12:01 a.m P.S.T on Monday morning.
Following the news, most LA theater chains announced their reopening dates and decisions. AMC plans to reopen its theaters Friday, March 19, TLC – which owns the Chinese 6 and the IMAX Chinese Theater – is still considering next weekend, and Cinemark theaters is reopening locations as early as March 15. Regal, Arclight, Laemmle and Cinepolis all have yet to comment.
AMC announced that 527 out of its 589 domestic theaters were open as of Friday, including ones recently reopened in New York City. And despite the uptick in streaming viewers, box office sales have surged throughout the country as more and more theaters reopen. Hopefully the success signifies an American people still willing to pay for the theater experience over their living room couch.
Los Angeles’ reopening arrives just in time for the March 31 release of “Godzilla vs. Kong,” the first true blockbuster of the year. If the trailer is any indication, the monster thriller is a film that requires the theater experience; a perfect 2 hour distraction for a country still mourning the destruction of the past year. Many 2020 releases were pushed back to 2021, including “Dune”, “No Time to Die,” and “The French Dispatch,” and their re-releases could make 2021 a movie year for the ages.
Stay tuned for more updates on theater reopening. Maybe, by the end of the year, we can all watch “Matrix 4” in a sold-out auditorium. That’s the dream.