Cinemark Theaters Set to Begin Phased Reopening Starting June 19
By Allyson Vannatta, Senior Writer
Cinemark Theaters’ doors have been closed since mid-March, but they’re finally about to see the light of day.
In an earnings call with investors, Cinemark’s CEO Mark Zoradi commented on a slew of issues that surround theaters and announced a date for the theater chain to reopen its doors.
Zoradi said employees have, “Shifted our attention to domestic reopening, which we plan to initiate in a multi-phased approach beginning June 19.”
The reopening will happen in four phases, according to Deadline.
The first of Cinemark’s theaters will open on June 19, with five theaters in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where the company’s HQ reside. The second week, a third of the chain’s theaters will follows suit, with another third the following week, and finally the remaining theaters the weekend of July 10-12.
Right now, theater capacity is capped at 25 percent in the chain’s home state of Texas, with the cap expected to rise to 50 percent soon to continue social distancing.
Cinemark will require employees to wear masks, but moviegoers will not be forced to do the same. The theater will also sell a more limited selection of concession items.
However, even with theaters reopening in the near future, Zoradi believes theaters won’t return to normal until 2022.
During the call with investors, he said,
“The reality is I don’t think we’re going to be able to get into a full-on rhythm again of product cycles and all that we had prior to COVID-19 until 2022. That’s more production-related than our operation-related because as studios have had to adapt to not being able to do filming and do post-production, they’ve had to move their schedules. Therefore, we’re going to adapt as well.”
Although, he does state that 2021 will be a “Nice recovery year.”
Cinemark is staying positive, though, with two tentpole releases still on the schedule for July.
Warner Bros. TENET is set to hit the big screen on July 17, with Disney’s MULAN (2020) the following weekend.
In response to a question about TENET’s upcoming release, Zoradi said, “We’ve been in close contact with Warner Bros. and they remain optimistic and positive as well as Christopher Nolan about the July 17 opening.”
After a “huge positive response from the second trailer,” Warner Bro. seems “upbeat” about the release, though the studio still can’t promise the release.
Wide release for blockbuster movies like TENET are crucial for money to be made on the movie.
However, after Universal’s record-breaking release of TROLLS WORLD TOUR to video on demand in April, Zoradi states that, “We’re open to talking with studio partners about alternatives we can consider [distributing movies].”
This is really only for smaller, lower budget movies.
The CEO made sure to emphasize the importance of the theatrical window after this comment saying, “I don’t want to give the wrong impression, the 74-day exclusive window is an important one, especially for big blockbusters.”
He added, “We believe the exclusive window is important to the theatrical experience, and are careful about undue change to that.”