Movie theaters: Popcorn and candies banned from movie theaters once they reopen

Published by Cécile D., Julie M. · Photos by My B. · Published on 4 May 2021 at 13h26 · Updated on 4 May 2021 at 14h02
As movie theaters are closed for over 6 months, and still waiting to reopen, the sector is getting ready to start preparing the after, including a new 3-step health protocol to discover below.

If you missed movie theaters, note they miss you too! After closing for three months between March and June 2020, the movie theater industry has had to face a new blow with another lockdown and another total closure of movie theaters. A closure that is difficult for the cultural world as many movie releases have been cancelled over the coronavirus epidemic.

But, as the new lockdown exit is being prepared in France, movie theaters will be allowed to reopen from May 19, 2021 at the same time as cultural places, stores, and terraces. To make sure the recovery will not cause another epidemic wave, a health protocol will be instated when allowed to open to the public is already ready.

National Federation of French Movie Theaters delegate general Marc-Olivier Sebbag told France Info that "since early March, we have been working with the government on a progressive reopening plan we have been offered, in three steps then, with progressive gauges, along all steps of the way".

First, movie theaters will enjoy a 1/3 gauge, namely lower than when they reopened this past June as exhibitors were allowed to sell every two seats with a maximum filling limit set to 50%. Then, after a few weeks, the gauges will rise up to 2/3 and then 100% if the health conditions allow it.

Furthermore, the new health protocl plans allowing intervals between sessions to limit the public flow during peak hours.

This Tuesday May 4, we are told candies and popcorn will be banned from movie theaters once they reopen. At the end of a session at the National Assembly, Minister of Culture Roselyne Bachelot announced that "for movie theaters, the sale of candies within facilities will be banned first off. Of course, if some movie theaters feature outdoor food stations, they can continue".

This decision has been made to prevent spectators from removing their facemasks a lot during the movie, and to prevent competition with restaurants and bars: the same rules and standards must apply to all. The government bans any consumption of food or drink indoor in May, whether in restaurants or cultural places.

For the audience:

  • Facemasks are still mandatory in the lobby and the room all along the duration of the movie.

  • Online booking is recommended to avoid contacts and go by ticket offices.

  • If you have not been able to book online, contactless payment is encouraged.

For movie theaters:

  • The staff shall wear facemasks

  • Hand sanitizer is available for the public

  • Door handles, bathrooms, and movie theaters are regularly disinfected

  • Time between each session will be extended to renew the air in the room

  • A traffic direction will be set up to avoid walking by other people

Movie theaters will reopen at 33% of their capacities, but it does not prevent you from enjoying movie releases as soon as they open. As to know what movies will be opening at that moment, we do not know yet! Specialists already announce over 400 movies are waiting to be screened. Between expected new releases and movies out right prior to the lockdown, many distributors have chosen not to wait and play movies on streaming platforms.

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