Movie theatres in Singapore will be allowed to reopen from July 13 (Mon), as part of the government’s Phase 2 reopening strategy. The move was announced on Friday evening (July 3) by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).
When patrons return to cinemas — which have been closed since March 27 when the Circuit Breaker was introduced to contain the COVID-19 spread — they will have to abide by a list of safety protocols called “Comprehensive Safe Management Measures for Cinemas’.
Some of these SOPs — like the “one metre safe distancing” seat configuration, contact tracing, compulsory temperature-taking, availability of hand sanitisers’ and increased frequency of cleaning and disinfection — have already been in place before the cineplexes were shuttered.
Here are the key rules patrons have to take note:
#1. All patrons, staff and other on-site personnel have to wear masks at all times, even inside the hall, except when consuming food and drinks.
#2. Only friends and family (maximum five patrons) are allowed to buy tickets to sit together. (In other words, no stranger should be seated next to you under the one-metre rule.)
#3 Each theatre will only accommodate up to a maximum of 50 patrons per screening.
For IMDA’s complete set of guidelines, click here. All stringent measures will be limited to the initial reopen phase and then periodically reviewed and revised according to the ministerial guidelines.
There’s also a FAQ section for cinema operators (Shaw Theatres, Golden Village, Cathay Cineplexes, Filmgarde, The Projector) here. Patrons are also advised to refer to the respective cinema chains’ websites and social media channels for further details.
When movie-goers return to the cinemas, the first blockbuster to welcome them back is Train to Busan: Peninsula, opening July 15, on the same day as South Korea.
Other titles opening that week are the Daniel Radcliffe jailbreak flick Escape from Pretoria, the historical drama Mr Jones, the Taiwanese scream-fest The Bridge Curse, and the Thai romance Low Season.
These releases will serve to warm people up to the idea of venturing back to the cineplexes before Hollywood drops its big shows next month (Christopher Nolan’s Tenet on August 13; Disney’s Mulan on August 20).
It’ll also give everyone enough time to figure out a less disruptive way to work around their masks while having their beverages and popcorn.
Main picture design: Pyron Tan