When Will California Movie Theaters Reopen?

California Movie Theaters Update

California has been hard-hit by the coronavirus, so there’s been a lot of questions about when the state might be able to reopen its movie theaters. Now, Governor Gavin Newsom has announced strict guidelines for indoor movie theaters in California to reopen in the upcoming months. In other words, don’t expect an easy solution here where all theaters across the state miraculously reopen at once. A new “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” has just been rolled out involving guidelines and tiers that indicate when theaters can open up again.

First, here’s Gov. Newsom’s color-coded chart.

Per Variety, if Los Angeles is at 13% daily new cases per 100,000 people, they would need to get to less than 8% daily new cases per 100,000 people to reopen theaters. San Francisco and San Diego counties “currently meet the requirements to be in the red tier, so movie theaters in those counties would be allowed reopen at just 25% capacity.” It all involves tiers (and also tears, I’d imagine, since I’m sure everyone is tired of all of this).

Every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its rate of new cases. At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least three weeks before moving forward. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier. So, uh…everyone please follow the rules.

And under all these new rules and regulations, movie theaters in “red tier” counties can begin operations either with their capacity limited to 25%, or 100 people – whichever is less. Theaters in “orange tier” counties can operate with their capacity limited to either 50% or 200 people. In the “yellow tier,” capacity must be limited to 50%.

This news comes on the heels of 62% of the United States’ movie theaters reopening. Films like Unhinged and The New Mutants are playing now, and Christopher Nolan’s big blockbuster Tenet is due out in select locations next week. So far, California has recorded 688,858 cases of coronavirus and 12,690 deaths.

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