BEIJING, China (CelebrityAccess) – While shutdowns and shelter in place are increasingly becoming the new norm in the United States and Europe, the COVID-19 clouds appear to be starting to clear in China as cinemas begin to re-open in some provinces.
On Monday, Chinese business news service Caixin reported that more than 500 cinemas reopened over the weekend in Xinjiang, Shangdong, Sichuan, Fujian and Guangdong provinces.
The theaters represent just 5% of China’s cinemas, and, according to Forbes, exhibitors have foregone new movies in favor of re-releasing old movies and using %100 percent of the receipts to bolster the industry.
If Chinese movie fans are willing to return anytime soon remains to be seen. According to Forbes, traffic at the re-opened cinemas was off to a slow start with revenue on Friday averaging less than $2,000 per location.
State-owned China Film Group, one of the leading film distributors in China, urged theater owners to temporarily adjust their ticket prices and suggested staging low cost or free screenings while the industry gets back on its feet.
China appears to be where COVID-19 originated with the first cases reported in December. In late January, China began implementing large-scale civic shutdowns.