Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Coronavirus: China's cinemas start to reopen after shutdowns
In the last five years until 2019, about 10,000 cinema screens had been added each year in China. This rapid increase was mainly driven by its growing urban population and rising demand for entertainment, not to mention the hawkish investors who wanted to jump on the bandwagon. But since March, most of these movie theaters have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic not only in China but around the world. You can easily imagine how closed and shoulder-to-shoulder environment movie theaters are. Having been closed for nearly six months, these movie theaters are in financial crisis, if not already closed forever. Now, some of the theaters opened their doors again under China’s film administration’s strict guidelines. They are allowed to sell only 30% of the seats for half the number of films compared with last year. To make the situation even harder, they aren’t allowed to sell any drinks or beverages, which could generate significant revenues to cinema operators.
For movie-goers, it’s not a bad story even without pop-corns. But financially, it is surely a money-losing game for theaters. Can they raise the ticket price? Are there enough popular movies coming out?
Enjoy reading the article and think about what you would do if you owned a movie theater.