clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

When can you go to a movie theater again? It might not be for another year

Dr. Anthony Fauci says the US might be another year away from returning to the theater.

A Regal Cinemas movie theater is closed during the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in New York.
A Regal Cinemas movie theater is closed during the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)
Ted Shaffrey, Associated Press

Dr. Anthony Fauci said recently it might not be until the end of 2021 when people can safely return to theaters.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Americans who want to enter a theater without concerns over the coronavirus might need to wait “for almost a year.”

  • “I think it’s going to be a combination of a vaccine that has been around for almost a year and good public-health measures. I would think by the time we get to the end of 2021 — maybe even the middle of 2021.”

Fauci’s guidance came in response to actress Jennifer Garner, who asked Americans can except to head to the theaters in an Instagram post.

  • He said the U.S. will have “a degree of immunity” if the vaccine is 90% effective. This would make Americans to “walk into a theater without masks and feel like it’s comfortable.”

Questions about people returning to theaters come as the industry works to gain back some of the losses it suffered during the pandemic. “Tenet” is the newest film to hit theaters — though the film earned $6.7 million this weekend, a sign that theaters aren’t seeing a lot of traffic. But analysts suggest the low numbers could be a sign that there is a demand for people to visit theaters — there is just reduced capacity keeping them from going.

Still, employees of movie theaters told The Washington Post that everyone remains somewhat at risk in a theater.

  • “I don’t see how anyone sees this as realistic,” said Hilary Strohschein, who has worked in the theater business for 17 years. “It’s dangerous for the customer, it’s dangerous for the employee. All these people making the decisions to open theaters are not the ones who are going to have to work there.”