Movie theatre chains are earning less than a quarter of the revenue they did last year. Some theatre chines are hosting trivia nights, renting out their spaces to colleges and even creating branded popcorn for grocery stores. In many cases, owners are just trying to keep their doors open long enough for new movies to arrive.
Movie theatres in most countries were asked to close this spring due to the coronavirus pandemic. At first, many cinema operators believed that their venues would be reopened by the end of June but this hasn’t been the case in many places.
Many important holidays in 2020 went by without having theatres open in many countries and without an exact date to target it has been difficult for many owners to decide what to do.
For many cinemas, bankruptcy looms. Some of the largest cinema chains in the USA, such as AMC Entertainment, have warned of this possibility. At the moment it’s quite clear that profits won’t be made but everyone is trying to stay in business. The postponement of the release of new movies has left most venues financially vulnerable.
In places where theatres can open there may be capacity restrictions, reluctant patrons and very few new films. This means cinema owners have had to adapt and become creative in order to make money. In many cases, that has meant making private theatre rentals less expensive, offering more classic films and turning the side of their buildings into drive-ins where possible.
Will Try Anything
Some cinema chains in the USA are working with local libraries to show movies that are based on books and with museums to play documentaries that are tied to exhibits.
Some smaller players who have transformed parking lots into concert venues, traded blockbuster opening weekends for trivia nights and negotiated deals with local schools to rent out the space for in-person learning. Many propietors sole purpose is to innovate and find ways to drive business however they can.
Some companies are losing money being open, but closing is out of the question for some. Shutting doors also means rehiring and retraining, a process that takes a lot of money and time.
This has been a difficult year for cinemas, however, the need for socializing and getting out of the house to experience life will never go out of style.