The opening of the Movie Theaters allows the orderly reactivation of trade

Executive Director of the Chamber of Movie Exhibitors and Distributors of Costa Rica (Cámara de Distribuidores y Exhibidores de Cine de Costa Rica, CADEC)

After several months of being closed due to the health emergency generated by the COVID-19, the cinemas are promoting an early authorization for their re-opening at more flexible hours and weekends; But why is it important to open movie theaters? Movie theaters not only represent a healthy and accessible entertainment for the family, they also make up an industry that generates multiple business opportunities for different commercial sectors. Before closing, movie theaters made monthly payments to their suppliers of goods and services for more than $ 5 million, and most of those suppliers are small and medium-sized companies; almost a thousand families depend directly on that industry and approximately fifteen hundred families depend indirectly on this industry. In a country with 5 million inhabitants and a per capita income of $ 12,000 a year, those numbers are important. It is also relevant to consider that the average salary is approximately $ 800 per month, which in the Central American economy is a reasonably good income.

Furthermore, most movie theaters are located in shopping malls or in areas surrounded by other businesses (shops, cafes, etc.) that are directly benefited by cinema visitors, because families go to the movies and then visit shops, cafes, restaurants. These visits are normally made as a family, so that the social bubble requested by the Ministry of Health is respected. This behavior of the majority of the visitors to the cinemas will allow a gradual and orderly reactivation of sales that will stimulate the gradual reactivation of commerce, for the benefit of all, always controlling safety and hygiene rules to prevent contagion. Hopefully the magic of the cinema will help us to relax and revive the economy.

But are movie theaters safe? Movie theaters are much safer and more reliable meeting centers than others that are permanently open and this for several reasons that have already been verified in other parts of the world, such as in Japan, where movie theaters have been kept open, without generating major complications or contagions. In movie theaters people do not chat or talk, they do not interact with each other, but rather sit in corresponding place and remain silent, still and looking in one direction. The entrance to the rooms is through defined routes (the hallways) that can be constantly disinfected. In addition, since there is only one access to go to the specific movie, there are periods of time in which nobody passes through the hallways and these can be effectively cleaned and disinfected. Interaction between room employees and visitors is very low and requires no contact. Today, most of the tickets are sold online (pre-purchase) and almost all rooms have contact-less payment terminals. Payment in cash (occurs more often in rural areas) can be carefully managed to avoid contagion. The use of masks by cinema staff (and by visitors who prefer it) further reduces the chances of contagion. The rooms are completely unoccupied after each movie and are completely disinfected; In addition, a social distance of 1.8 meters is being applied between individuals or families (social bubbles). Movie theaters have developed strict cleaning and prevention protocols, which have already been approved by the Ministry of Health and guarantee the protection of the health of their employees and their visitors. We work to accomplish a secure client in reliable cinemas.

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