opening movie theaters

Lately, there’s been an aggressive push from some to reopen just about everything, including movie theaters. It’s understandable – we’re all sick of being quarantined, and cabin fever is setting in. But the coronavirus is still here, and it would be a big mistake to rush reopening movie theaters too soon. And filmmakers Spike Lee and Armando Iannucci both agree.

In case you missed it, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp decided to ignore the advice of pretty much everyone and announce that certain Georgia businesses – including movie theaters – could reopen this month. It’s a decision that the majority of folks aren’t very happy with, and indeed, most movie theaters in the Peach State are likely to remain closed despite Kemp’s wishes.

When the news broke, Spike Lee was one of the first filmmakers to weigh-in on Kemp’s decision, and since he’s an intelligent guy, he immediately called it out for the bullshit that idea it is. In an email to Vanity Fair, Lee wrote: “Open Movie Theatres Now? Hell To Da Naw. I Got Alot More Movies To Make, Not Rollin’ Da Dice Wit’ Da Only Life I Got. TESTING. TESTING And Mo’ TESTING.”

Meanwhile, on a different but similar front, Armando Iannucci is a little miffed at an idea that has its heart in the right place, but is probably jumping the gun. IFC Films recently launched the Indie Theater Revival Project, where the distributor is willing to rent out 200 library titles – for free – to indie movie theaters across the country. The initiative kicks-off on May 29, and one of the films included is Iannucci’s very funny, and very dark, The Death of Stalin. In the wake of the news, Iannucci took to Twitter to voice his disapproval of the idea of reopening movie theaters as soon as May.

“I’d like to make it clear I don’t approve of any of my films being shown in US movie theatres before it’s clear the virus has been overcome,” the filmmaker writes. “So, I don’t approve of The Death of Stalin being shown in US movie theatres as early as May 29th. That’s simply too early.” And he has a point – May does seem too early. Even theater chain Cinemark‘s plans to reopen by July 1 in some locations seem too early. So maybe we should all just take the advice of these filmmakers and hold off a bit.

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