No COVID-19 cases linked to movie theaters anywhere in the world; New York’s continued closure threatens the cinema industry worldwide
Washington D.C. (October 14, 2020) – The Executive Committee of the Global Cinema Federation (GCF), a worldwide grouping of major cinema operators and internationally-active trade bodies representing cinema exhibition’s global interests, today wrote (attached) to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, urging him to reopen movie theaters in New York State wherever possible.
New York is an important market for the exhibition industry, not only in the United States but also around the world.
Noting New York’s remarkable success in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, the GCF Executive Committee requested that New York “adopt a plan similar to that in California, (which) has allowed openings on a county-by-county basis according to virus data.”
Without such a plan, “the studios that supply new movies have been reluctant to release their latest films to the point where almost no new major films will be released globally until 2021 and beyond. Without new movies to play in our cinemas, many members of the global exhibition community will be forced to close their doors again. Many of these companies will not survive.”
More than a month after Governor Cuomo said, “Movie theaters, I think, are next,” there is still no plan or timetable for opening, despite extensive, epidemiologist approved health and safety protocols, and evidence that suggests that moviegoing is safer than indoor dining or attending religious services.
“Moreover,” the letter continues, “as of today, there are no reported cases associated with cinemas, despite the fact that cinemas in countries like Korea, Japan, and Sweden remained open for most of the initial period of the pandemic and the additional fact that in different countries and in different parts of the United States, cinemas have been open for three to four months since lockdowns were lifted.”
GCF membership consists of over 100 companies including exhibitors and trade associations in six continents and over 90 countries, and hundreds of thousands of employees worldwide.
With operations in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, México, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, UK, and USA, these exhibitors represent thousands of cinema screens around the world.