Cinemas reopen after six months: how much is there to celebrate?

We all agree, opening is the opposite of closing; in pandemic times, re-opening is the opposite of lockdown. While sectors such as catering suffered from a lockout of the premises with the important possibility of continuing to work between take-away and home, art, tourism and culture have probably paid the highest price of this Pandemia in Coronavirus. Aware of the arrival of the Second Wave but too tested by the first lockdown to perceive the real danger of a new and important increase in cases, last summer there was a more or less mass reopening of cinemas and museums, with the restart of tourism. Unfortunately it did not last long, about four months, because the worsening of hospital situations and the burden in intensive care forced the Conte government to opt for the now well-known regional color system and for targeted, not generalized closures.

Six months after the Second Wave, about a month after the peak of the Third and a few days after the exit from the so-called plateau, with an infection curve finally down (albeit slow), the Draghi Government, which took office last February, wanted to listen to the ” appeal of tried and exhausted workers in the sector, allowing (also) the reopening of cinemas from 26 April. This news was obviously welcomed with great happiness by all lovers of the community experience of the hall but which unfortunately hides more than one perplexity.

Who, when and which ones

We are the first to want a return to sharing cinema in the hall, for us an essential experience linked to the Seventh Art that we hope it will be able to survive the overwhelming power of streaming platforms, for a reasoned and mutually fruitful coexistence. That said, not all that glitters is gold, and certainly the possibility of reopening cinemas it does not necessarily involve mass and immediate reopening.
The first question to answer is therefore: “spending“has it already reopened on the day set by the government? The answer is simple: the same ones who did it last June, small rooms and particularly “busy” circuits. To give you some examples, in Rome we talk about Cinema Quattro Fontane or of New Sacher by Nanni Moretti, in Milan on Cinema Anteo, the Beltrade and the Cinemino – but not only. Places known and previously frequented by film-hungry cinephiles who can now enjoy an important advantage (even if throwing it into competition is really horrible) over multiplex operators, looking at important chains such as UCI Cinemas, The Space Cinemas O Cityplex.

The second question to ask is then: “When“Will these chains, which now dominate the country’s largest cities and provinces, will also reopen? It is not uncommon, in fact, to discover how in different medium-sized towns in every part of the UCI and The Space boot have been tearing down the smaller cinematic fabric for years now to settle as the only multiplex available, which means that in these places, without them, there is no experience in the room. And currently, apart from a generic “Half may“announced by UCI Cinemas, The Space and others have only pointed out”the happy reception of government legislation“, however quick in stating that”it will not officially reopen according to the dates indicated“.

Imagining that these multiplexes they will not reopen before May 17 or 24 (which are two Mondays), the Draghi Government allowed the reopening one month in advance, especially looking at the smaller and more needy exhibitors, who are enjoying and in these firsts they will enjoy the abstinence effect of cinephiles and a loyal public. However, when the cinema considered mainstream is not in the room and the proposed titles can be seen for many people only a hundred kilometers away, the happiness effect suffers a downward collapse of expectations, and paradoxically because we still have to wait.

Big distributions aren’t helping, having postponed all of their major titles to summer or fall 2021, but some major annual Oscar films like A promising woman, Minari, The Father, Another round of Thomas Vinterberg but above all Nomadland by Chloe Zhao have been released or are about to be released in cinemas distributed by Universal, Academy Two, Movies Inspired and BiM Distribuzione, the most interested in well-being and filming the cinematic experience in the room.

It was also announced that Woody Allen’s latest film, Rifkin’s Festival, will also be released in theaters next May 6th thanks to Vision Distribution, but in fact the problem remains above all of where to see it for thousands of Italians. Net of a summary joy for a return to normality and to the hall, therefore, to celebrate it will be necessary at least to wait for the reopening of the large chains mentioned above and understand how long this apparent idyll will last, in the hope that a new and unwanted forced lockout will not arrive within one or two months. The acceleration and strengthening of the vaccination campaign, however, they are the only weapon capable of averting such a prospect.

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