French cinemas ban concessions, could American cinemas follow?


Movie theaters may have reopened for much of 2021, but like any other place of business these days, they’re still dealing with COVID-19. For example, with the Omicron variant now in the mix, French cinemas decided to temporarily ban concessions. Could something like this happen in the United States?

As reported by Deadline, from Monday January 3, consuming food and drink will not be allowed in French cinemas for three weeks. This is part of a wave of measures French Prime Minister Jean Castex has announced the government will take to combat the spread of the Omicron variant. Others include a ban on concerts where attendees must stand for three weeks, as well as requiring patrons in bars and cafes to be seated.

The move comes after France recorded 100,000 new COVID cases on Christmas Day, and there could be more to follow. A measure to be passed by the French parliament would require people to show proof that they have been fully vaccinated to enter cinemas and other “leisure places”. If this materializes, it would replace the current “health passport” system, which offers the alternative of presenting a negative COVID test in place of proof of vaccination.

The Omicron variant is certainly a concern in the US too; according to The New York Times, as of December 24, the national seven-day average of new daily COVID cases has risen to 197,000, a 65% jump over the past two weeks. This has forced airlines to cancel thousands of flights in response to the highly transmissible variant. One would therefore not be guilty of wondering whether cinemas in the United States could follow in France’s footsteps in banning concessions, despite the fact that many consider things like popcorn and soda essential to the economy. theatrical experience.

For the United States though, I would imagine the decision not to allow concessions would be made on an individual basis, i.e. large chains like Regal and Cinemark, as well as independent cinemas, putting this in do it themselves rather than the government imposing it. It’s more likely that something akin to the French ‘passe-santé’ system would come into effect first, but as things stand there’s no indication cinemas will be operating anything other than normal in the weeks to come. come… well, as normal as things have been during the pandemic era.

With the close of December 2021 with Spider-Man: No Coming Homeoutstanding performance at the box office, as well as the arrival of films like The king’s man and A newspaper for Jordan, January 2022 will be a bit quieter by comparison, but not without big draws. The fifth Scream the film will arrive on January 14, and Morbius, the third entry in Sony’s Spider-Man universe, will be released on January 28, about a year and a half after its original release date. So while the cinemas might not be as full in January as they were this month, it’s not like they’ll be devoid of people either, even though a lot of those people just want to check / relive No coming home.

If it is announced that US movie theaters will be implementing new measures to deal with COVID-19, we at CinemaBlend will let you know. Those of you wondering what other movies are planned for next year can find that information in our 2022 Release Schedule.

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