With COVID-19 cases and death rates dropping in Hong Kong, the region announced theaters will be allowed to reopen this Friday.
According to Variety, the announcement came after Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam met with the city’s Executive Council to discuss the reopening. Cinema owner Broadway Cinemas announced it will begin to show films on May 8, with a selection that mixes old and new titles. These include Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot, Better Days and Tora-san, Wish You Were Here. Trolls World Tour will premiere this week, while Emma is set for May 14.
Even with cinemas cleared to open, many are expected to operate at below capacity, with some creating special seating to promote social distancing. Broadway will be selling pairs of seats in a diamond pattern.
While Hong Kong has embraced reopening businesses, mainland China has resisted reopening its cinemas after over 500 theaters initially reopened in March. The country shuttered them again after it saw a spike in new COVID-19 cases.
Even with the reopening, many industry insiders believe that audiences may be a little skittish to return to theaters, with some estimating that the public might not fully return in full force until September or October.
As COVID-19 cases and death rates continue to drop in Hong Kong, theaters throughout the region will begin to reopen this week.