China’s Cinemas Reopen as Coronavirus Restrictions Eased

While some patrons were excited to be watching films on the big screen again, others said the experience wasn’t the same without snacks and beverages, which remain prohibited.

SHANGHAI — Action, romance, and drama are coming back to China’s silver screens.

Domestic movie theaters opened their doors Monday after being mostly closed for around six months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The National Film Administration had announced Thursday that low-risk areas of the country would be allowed to reopen cinemas at 30% seating capacity and screen time capped at two hours.

Several theaters across the country reopened with screenings of Wang Lina’s “A First Farewell,” an award-winning film at last year’s Berlin International Film Festival.

In Shanghai, patrons told Sixth Tone they couldn’t wait to watch the new release on the big screen after such a long hiatus.

“I’m very excited to be among the first group of moviegoers,” said Han Yuxin, who was at a theater in the downtown Jing’an District to watch Wang’s movie. “I feel the theaters must have done a good job preparing for the reopening, so I’m not too worried about safety.”

At another movie theater in Shanghai’s Xuhui District, staff members in masks — a compulsory accessory for both employees and guests — stood outside preparing to welcome their first customers in months. However, few people were waiting to go in, and the usual buzz around the concession counters was conspicuously absent: For now, no food or beverages are allowed, according to Thursday’s guideline. Continue to read the full article here


– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.