How safe are indoor movie theaters during the COVID pandemic? - Los Angeles Times

tagsBass Performance Hall Seats

Remember the feeling of going out to watch a movie?

Although cinemas have implemented agreements to protect guests and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many measures have been praised by experts, the exhibition industry is still

. Since mid-March, indoor theaters in Los Angeles County have closed, and Governor Gavin Newsom cancelled

In other states last week,

, Including most movie theaters. Even if these restrictions are lifted, the industry will still be eager to reopen safely.

In many other states, the question remains: With the total number of infections nationwide exceeding 12 million, more than 255,000 Americans dying, and the number of people each day surging to the highest level in history, what is the risk of watching a movie indoors?

The exhibition industry’s argument for keeping theaters open relies on confidence in the COVID-19 protocol formulated by the theater-including mask regulations, enhanced cleaning effects, automatic seat spacing between parties, limited auditorium capacity, staggered screening times, and other measures. They said there has been no outbreak that can be traced back to movie attendance.

"This is not only in the United States, but anywhere in the world," said Patrick Corcoran, vice president and chief communications officer of the American National Association. Introduction of the theater owner,

The theater can choose to join the show. "Some people have worked in a movie theater, or have been to a movie theater, but none of them passed any tracking to other people in that environment."

Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco, said: “The guide book looks great on paper.” “If you have a well-ventilated movie theater and people wear masks all the time, and they are isolated from society, and Do not go to the movies when you are sick...that may be relatively speaking. A safe environment."

However, he pointed out that these agreements can easily be defeated by the actions of others. "You can have a lot of suggestions, but in the final analysis, this is indeed human behavior."

He added that although Jin Hong agreed that “to date, there are no documented COVID cases related to movie attendance in the world, but no connection does not mean that there is no spread.”

Can you have Thanksgiving during the COVID-19 pandemic? The researchers created an interactive map that can estimate the risks you face in any county.

To help unfold this debate, The Times spoke with two industry speakers-Corcoran and Chanda Brashears, Vice President of Investor Relations and Public Relations, Cinema Theater; and Three A public health expert-Chin-Hong, Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. Dr. Annabel de Saint Morris of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Experts praised the many safety measures in the industry before entering the auditorium. They agree that once inside, the danger will increase, mainly due to the choices made by customers.

Everyone interviewed for this article agrees

Is the key. Movie security

However, “if approved by state or local health authorities, facial covering can be removed for a limited purpose and for a limited period of time for the consumption of food and beverages.”

Benjamin, an expert in internal medicine and the former Secretary of Health of Maryland, said: "Just like in a restaurant, you have to take off your mask and eat popcorn or drink a drink. Of course, when you do, if you get infected, you will clear the virus. He specifically pointed out if you laugh or scream while watching a movie.

De St. Maurice, a doctor who specializes in pediatrics and infectious diseases, and the headscarf infection prevention officer at UCLA Health, agreed: "How often do they wear masks? The movie makes you laugh and shout."

Health experts are concerned about this. Even appropriate social distance may not be enough to protect people who are not wearing masks for a long time (for example, two hours on average). Benjamin cites CDC’s "

For infected individuals, even asymptomatic individuals: "15 minutes or more within six feet." In this case, the CDC recommends that those exposed "stay after the last exposure." At home until 14 days", enter the isolation agreement.

"The activities in a cinema are very different from your activities in a bar or restaurant," Corcoran points out. "You don't have anyone face-to-face." He added that attendance time helps reduce risks, rather than in restaurants or bars, "people finish their meal, then get up and leave, [be replaced by more people."

Brashears said that Cinemark has added staff and the only job is to ensure that staff and customers follow the COVID-19 rules.

However, De St. Maurice pointed out that law enforcement may be a problem: “You may be frustrated. Many of these employees are teenagers and may be dissatisfied with correcting adults. You want to keep the theater open and want to Satisfy customers."

Infectious disease experts at the University of California, San Francisco say that masks will not reduce the oxygen content in the blood or increase the carbon dioxide content.

Social distancing is

Keep six feet away from people who are not in your home. The theater tried to implement this by reducing the number of crowds by wrong opening time, reducing the number of options at concession booths, etc.


Some of these companies have established a ticket purchase system that automatically inserts a single-seater buffer on either side of one party, thereby separating a total of two seats from each other. However, if the seats in most movie theaters are about two feet wide, then that can only be a four-foot buffer zone.

Brashears said that most of Cinemark’s seats are wider than normal “recliner” and “rocking chairs”, so two adjacent seats will meet the 6-foot standard.

Some auditoriums are arranged in

Configuration in which the row rises as you advance backward.

"I think another challenge is stadium seating," St. Morris said. "You are coughing and there are droplets. Where are they going to land? Below you."

Corcoran pointed out that the distance between the starting point of the stadium seat and the head is large, partly because of the tilt: "The distance may be sufficient."

Chain promotes its ventilation system, including

It is installed in the auditorium. However, there is no data on the air exchange rate (the number of times a ventilation system can replace indoor air with fresh outdoor air per hour), which experts say is important.

"It sounds like they have installed some MERV 13 filters in some areas, but I don't think it will improve your air exchange. And these filters are really expensive," De St. Maurice said, wondering if they are in In each auditorium. "Optimizing the air exchange will help. Open the door so you can get some outdoor air.

"If you think about it, if a person is sick and the air keeps circulating, then you will be in trouble. She said in Guangzhou that a Chinese restaurant is in Guangzhou, where the air is circulating, and [water droplets] spread six feet Above, because the air basically keeps flowing in this cycle. "As a result, people who were sitting in the circle but probably more than six feet away from the index box were infected. "

Brashears said: "In Cinemark theaters, the air flows directly downwards and then exhausts through the side vents. We are introducing a consistent external air flow because we recognize this is important." She also pointed out that Cinemark's focus is "use MERV filter eliminates pollutants and integrates

. "

Experts unanimously praised exhibitors’ masked employees, limited production capacity, staggered screening times, cashless transactions, removal of shared condiments and reduced menus.

"It has nothing to do with the menu," De St. Maurice explained. "In theory, this is to reduce the number of people in line to decide what to get. Posting a notice saying: "Don't wait in line" is not as effective as organizing things so that people are less willing to wait in line or really don't have to queue."

Benjamin added that off-peak hours may also be safer. "Obviously, if they really clean up at night, it might be better to get up in the morning. You might get better when there are fewer people in the theater."

All three health experts said that extra care should be taken when the positive rate of infection is high, because

Public activities will be more dangerous.

De Saint Maurice said: "In order to reduce the lives of these luxury goods in our lives, and to enable people who work in these industries to work again, all the measures we take to reduce the spread within the community are really important."

The best movie theater scenes would include not selling any concessions, establishing a flexible schedule for workers, and establishing a "good sick leave policy," De St. Maurice said, "This way they can stay at home when they feel unwell, and Not being motivated to work. It."

Although experts are optimistic about many of the steps taken, they are negative about other steps, such as taking into account the customer's body temperature, strengthening cleaning and wearing gloves. Benjamin pointed out that gloves can transmit pollutants like bare skin, and if used improperly, they can create a false sense of security. He also cited some studies showing

(Infection through contact surface) should be low.

Qin Hong said: "People need to be flexible because the situation may change. Science is as good as people stick to what is happening. Just like in the playground, you can get guidance, but if you have a screaming The child is running around, you...always cannot control this environment. I think the unknown is the most likely cause of anxiety about all this."

For perspective, The Times asked experts to rate the safety of certain activities from 0 to 100. Among them, 0 is the least likely to cause COVID-19 infection, and 100 is the most dangerous. Among the listed activities, they respectively considered watching movies indoors as one of the most adventurous activities. Benjamin refused to provide ratings, but would include going to the cinema to the indoor restaurant.

At the time of writing, the CDC lists movie players


Maybe you are older or have medical [problems]; you may think that juice is not worth juicing.

UCSF infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Chin-Hong

However, one solution that seems to solve the concerns of most experts is the "Private Observer Party." In this case, up to 20 customers can spend between US$99 and US$149 (at Cinemark) to buy the theater to watch the show, thus eliminating strangers in the auditorium. Brashears said the chain has sold more than 50,000 events.

"In the final analysis, everything depends on consumers. Consumers must play a role in our safe operations." She said.

Corcoran recommends that customers visit the website of the theater they want to attend to learn about the specific protocol they use.

Chin-Hong said: "Active rather than passive may be the best summary, but it depends not only on where you are, but also on who you are and how to determine the risk. Maybe you are older or have medical [problems]; You might think it’s not worth juicing."

Inside the entertainment business

The wide-angle lens brings you news, analysis and insights, everything from streaming to production, what this means for the future.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.

follow us

Michael Ordoña made films and TV for the Los Angeles Times.

More from the Los Angeles Times

The children of film producer Spike Lee and producer Tony Lewis Lee (Satchel) and Jackson Lee (Jackson Lee) were the first to be appointed as Golden Globes Brothers and sisters of the same color of the award ambassador.

While accepting the actor award at the Gotham awards ceremony on Monday, Taylor Simone Ledward said: "Please continue to shine on us."

More coverage

Debra Messing (Debra Messing) said that she was "available" to play Lucille Ball in the movie "Being the Ricardos" by Amazon Films, which reportedly will star in Nicole · Kidman (Nicole Kidman).

The TikTok musical based on Pixar's "Ratatouille" movie has generated millions of dollars in revenue for disaster relief efforts initiated by the Actors Foundation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Subscriber is reading

Currently, the vaccine is still designated for medical staff and emergency personnel. But officials hope to provide details on the next wave soon.

The Mayor’s Office stated that testing at Dodger Stadium, the largest coronavirus testing station in the United States, will end on Monday. Officials hope to eventually vaccinate 12,000 people there every day.

Famous architect Frank Gehry's bold plan to overhaul the Los Angeles River will showcase the long-neglected city of southern Los Angeles, but environmental groups oppose the idea of ​​a so-called platform park above the flood channel.

The researchers shared the numbers they are observing predicting when the deadly COVID-19 surge in California will end.

Californians are required to be no more than 120 miles away from home. These places keep you within that limit.

The film stars Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield and tells the story of the killed Panther leader Fred Hampton and the FBI The story of informant William O'Neal.

Liam Neeson's play "The Marksman" is indeed an old-fashioned Western film, but it is not a very good one.

The international film "Oscar Tickets" tells a story about the gangs in the impoverished and ultra-violent settlements near Monterey

Behind him are "homicide", "wire" and "Ray Donovan", what should we do next? The star aptly named "Worker" said: "The main thing is, I just want to keep working."

"Are we the things we won't forget? Because in a way, we are our memories," the director Christos Nikou asked.

Contact Us
  • Maggie Kwan
  • +86 757 2363 2953
  • +86 139 2480 2689
  • +86 757 2387 9469
  • +86 139 2480 2689