Movie theaters might open for free following the coronavirus pandemic according to the National Association of Theater Owners.
After a significant number of movie delays and cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic, theaters understandably closed due to fears of spreading the virus. However, new information suggests that once the coronavirus has receded, theaters could open again with free screenings to entice audiences back in. In an interview with ScreenRant, Patrick Corcoran of the National Association of Theater Owners explained that the organization is examining how Chinese theaters have approached the situation.
“We’re working on it. We are working on it. We’re looking at what’s been happening in China. In the provinces that were least affected, they’re starting to open their theaters, and they’re open for free to patrons to coax them back. The movies they’re showing are older ones. We will see… It’s going to depend.”
With studios like Universal offering streaming alternatives for films like The Invisible Man and The Hunt, audiences might be torn between staying home for their streaming services and venturing out to theaters following the coronavirus pandemic. While re-releasing films like Avengers seem popular in China, Corcoran went on to say that they group will continue to look at the most beneficial options for audiences and their studio partners depending how the situation plays out.
“We’re both local and national markets, and our main distribution partners are very interested in national releases as opposed to local ones, so depending on how this virus goes, and whether it’s more severe in some places and lifts sooner or later, that’s all going to go into it. We’re looking at ways to reach out to our patrons and also to our studio partners about the best ways to message and roll things out once we’re back up and running.”
What do you think about the idea of free screenings after the coronavirus pandemic? Would you want to see new movies or re-releases? Sound off in the comments below.
Stay tuned for the latest news on the impact of the coronavirus on events, movies and notable figures as it develops.