Cinemas can open from tomorrow, July 1, but cinema owners fear for the future because of the tough operating rules introduced to contain the spread of coronavirus and the lack of new releases, Demetra Landou reports for Phileleftheros.
Managing director of RIO cinemas Marios Herodotou said the rules make it prohibitive to operate.
He noted for example that particularly in the summer much of the cinema going public are young people who do not have credit cards to book online.
He also questioned what films cinemas would screen, given that Hollywood has frozen production of new films because of the pandemic.
“Film producers have changed their programming because of the pandemic. We need a year to reach last year’s levels,” he said.
“It will be difficult to resume operation in the summer because our operating costs with a/c and electricity and salary costs are high,” Herodotou added.
Cinemas need support if they are to survive. “For a business that has been closed for so many months, help until August is too small.”
Under the operating rules for cinemas to prevent the spread of coronavirus, there is a maximum number of spectators permitted at any given time depending on the space available which is at 40% to 50% of capacity.
There must also be two metres or two seats between spectators or groups of friends who will have the option to sit together.
Where possible tickets must be sold online and spectators must take specific seats to ensure social distancing. Staff must ensure that the seat allocations are adhered to during the screening.
Staff must wear masks and care must be taken to prevent bottlenecks at the entrance and exit by also using fire exits. Moreover, the area must be disinfected after every screening.