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How will movie theaters reopen? Here’s what we know so far

President Donald Trump issued some guidelines that could help theaters reopen

This image released by Disney/Marvel Studios shows Scarlett Johansson in a scene from “Black Widow,” which is scheduled to be released in July.
This image released by Disney/Marvel Studios’ shows Scarlett Johansson in a scene from “Black Widow.” The Walt Disney Co. on Friday overhauled its release schedule, moving the dates of half a dozen Marvel movies. “Black Widow,” which had been set to kick off the summer movie season, will now open Nov. 6.
Marvel Studios, Disney via Associated Press

President Donald Trump has revealed early plans on how to reopen the U.S. economy, and that may include movie theaters.

What’s going on

  • Trump revealed his plan to reopen U.S. businesses Thursday. called “Opening Up America Again,” which includes a multi-phase process to help restart businesses and get people back to work.
  • President Trump mentioned movie theaters as a specific business that could reopen during the first phase of the plan.
  • To reopen early during phase one, businesses like movie theaters would need to follow “strict social distancing protocols.”
  • Movie theaters could open during the second phase of the plan, though, which called for larger venues — like movie theaters, sports venues, restaurants and more — to reopen with physical distancing protocols in place, too.
  • Per ComicBook.com: “For theaters, this will likely look like the protocols that were enforced before things started closing down, where seats within the theaters are made unavailable when purchasing tickets, keeping the crowds smaller and people farther apart.”

However ...

  • Trump’s plan doesn’t necessarily mean movie theaters will reopen immediately. As USA Today explained, the decision of opening movie theaters and larger restaurants “will be left largely up to governors to decide when their states are ready to take the first step back to what was once considered normal.”
  • Jeff Bock, box office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, told USA Today: “I shook my head when I saw this. I don’t know how that happens right now when lives are still at stake.”
  • Bock said: “No studio is going to drop huge summer blockbusters, with a hundred theaters open or even a thousand. We’re going to get small, genre films that sort of test the marketplace, but we’re certainly not going to get blockbusters.”