Movie theaters: popcorn allowed again

Published by Cécile D., Julie M. · Photos by Julie M. · Published on 25 June 2021 at 14h40
The lockdown exit scheme keeps on going and health protocols are adapted: viewer gauges moved to 65% on June 9th and popcorn is once again allowed within screening rooms.

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 continues in France, movie theaters have been allowed to reopen since May 19, 2021 at the same time as cultural places, stores, and terraces. To make sure the recovery does not cause another epidemic wave, a health protocol has been instated to open to the public again.

First, movie theaters enjoyed a 35% 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, starting from Wednesday June 9, 2021, these gauges went up to 65% and 100% from June 30, 2021 if the situation allows it.

Furthermore, the new health protocl plans allowing intervals between sessions to limit the public flow during peak hours. Yet, with the end of curfew, movie theaters have been able to add late screenings to attract an even bigger audience.

When theaters reopened, candies and popcorn were banned from movie theaters. 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 restriction has been lifted: since June 9, popcorncandies, and sodas are once again allowed, even in movie theater rooms. Yet facemask-wearing remains compulsory: viewers must slightly lift their masks to be able to eat, and put it back between each bite. This authorization is to relieve movie theaters: 48% of the French buy drinks or snacks when they come to movie theaters, according to a study conducted in 2019 shared by BFMTV. This source of income is therefore crucial for companies.

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

Past June 30, we hope to see even more health restrictions be lifted.

Practical information