It’s been almost a year now since coronavirus began to spread globally, and lots of things have changed. Our daily lives are no longer the same. From wearing face masks to working remotely (if your job allows for it), it all seems surreal. It seems like forever since the last time you went to your local movie theater to enjoy a brand-new movie with friends and loved ones.
And just like sports without fans, watching movies on your laptop at home isn’t the same. Sure, there are great streaming platforms for you to choose from, but nothing can change the experience the big silver screen has to offer. But as life moves on, and has to move on, we’ll slowly but surely begin to get back to our old ways. That means the movie theaters will once again open their doors.
Safety Will Be a Priority
No one’s sure what the future of movie theaters after Covid will be. We can only wonder what happens next. However, that doesn’t stop us from speculating and pondering certain things. Seeing what the safety protocols around the world during this pandemic are, we can imagine some of them being there in the future too.
Nevertheless, one thing’s for sure — social distancing. No longer will you wait in groups to buy a ticket for the newest blockbuster. Sales will probably work purely online, and we’ll have to make sure there are at least 2 meters of space separating us in the line before the screening. But that’s not the only thing that awaits us.
Before you enter, clerks will check your temperature. Yup, just like at the airport, you’ll no longer be viable to go inside if you have a slight fever. Temperature checks aren’t exactly the best solution, but they’re needed to prevent potential local virus outbreaks. Also, the amount of time between the two movies is going to be longer, as cleaning will be a lot more thorough.
Once inside the theater, you’ll still have to keep your distance. Cinemas will not work at maximum capacity. But that’s not that bad since you’ll no longer have to worry about an obnoxious teenage couple kissing next to you or that guy who munches on snacks and distracts you while something suspenseful is happening on screen.
Just like we’ve mentioned, buying tickets will no longer mean you’ll have to wait in line and be in contact with another person. You’ll most surely buy your pass via the internet. Whether that’ll mean downloading an app or going to the cinema’s website, it doesn’t matter. Contactless technology will become the norm in the future.
Also, using a code you get when you buy a ticket will help you enter the theater. This way, the employees of your local movie theater won’t risk coming in contact with you if you’re potentially ill.
Another topic of debate as far as the coronavirus pandemic and theater industry are concerned is ordering food. Namely, cinemas don’t just live off ticket sales. They also focus on people buying food and snacks. Unfortunately, as this is an easy way for the virus to spread, you’ll probably have to get it via an app too.
Eventually, theater owners will open their doors. It will either happen due to the decline of cases or when the vaccine comes. There’s no doubt that will happen — the only question is when. Nevertheless, your local cinema might not look the same once all this is over.
The type of seats, as well as their number, will have to change drastically. No longer will we sit in standard stadium-like chairs — we’ll have to accustom ourselves to luxury seating. And that’s not a bad thing. These luxury seats are larger and offer more space between you and the “guy next door.” Some are even like pods for two people to sit together.
Movie theaters that don’t take this time in-between to make these necessary changes will fail miserably. Not only will the health inspections not allow for it, but people will also start avoiding them as they won’t feel safe there. The film industry is taking a heavy beating during this, and if they avoid changing their ways, they’ll soon end up on the floor.
Some even speculate that theaters could employ plexiglass plates between seats. And although it might seem weird, it could prove to prevent future virus outbreaks. Of course, that means that the rows will have to adjust for that to work. Either way, there’s no doubt your childhood theater will no longer look the way it did all these years.
The Drive-in Model
Another speculation concerning the movie industry is the drive-in cinema model. Sure, they already exist, but they’re more of a nostalgic trip to the silver age of Hollywood. The open sky, classic cars parked next to one another, and some black and white horror playing on the screen. Yup, it’s quite nostalgic and reminiscent of some better days when we didn’t have to worry about our lives.
The reason why people think that will be a reality again is the fact that people are separated while watching the movie. Couples from one household are seated inside their ride, meaning there’s no chance of them spreading the infection if they’re asymptomatic. Sure, it might not be the same as it was in the 1950s, but it will help the younger generations envision what it was like back then.
Once again, tickets will sell via apps or online. The code on your phone will allow you to enter the parking. Also, if you’re looking to munch on something, you’ll pick up your food like in a drive-in restaurant. All these ideas are almost like someone back then thought of the movie industry during a global pandemic.
We might even see a revival of movies meant for the outdoors. You know, creature features, retro sci-fi, or some exploitation slasher to make you squeeze your lover while enjoying the horror from the inside of your car. Some might even find this a unique chance to try being naughty while no one can see them, but that’s a whole other story.
Will the Audiences Come Back?
With the current situation being unstable, we can’t say many things for sure, but something will change one day. No pandemic lasts indefinitely. And as such, the Covid-19 crisis will come to an end sooner or later. It means that we’ll once again live in a mask-free world.
See this WHO safety protocol guidelines
Hollywood studios know this as well. So, don’t worry if you currently have nothing new to watch — filming and theatrical releases will come back. Either we’ll have a working vaccine, or the virus itself will become like flu. It’s just a matter of time.
But until that day comes, we all must follow the safety protocols our health officials suggest. There’s no doubt that we’ll find ways to enjoy both music and films during this time of unrest. After all, the entertainment industry is all about forgetting real life and finding a way to escape it.