The reopening of cinemas across France on Monday was part of a gradual relaxation of containment measures due to the coronavirus
French moviegoers ventured into theaters on Monday for the first time since coronavirus locking, helped by a new safety device: Minions placed at intervals in the seats to ensure respect for social distancing.
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Plush versions of the yellow pill-shaped figures were displayed at the MK2 cinema in southern Paris for a screening of the 2015 film Minions – a spin-off of the Despicable Me franchise that made them famous.
The Minions, dressed in their signature glasses and overalls, have been strategically placed around the auditorium to enforce a rule that viewers leave at least one free space between themselves and their neighbors.
The reopening of cinemas across France on Monday was part of a gradual easing of lockdown measures that were imposed in March to curb the spread of COVID-19[female[feminine .
Nathanael Karmitz, chairman of the MK2 movie channel, said figures from Monday morning screenings showed how French audiences have missed going to the movies.
“They love the cinema,” he said. “It’s much less risky to spend two hours at the movies than to take public transport or take the train.
Monday’s theatrical release wasn’t the first time Minions have been drafted to help protect people from COVID-19[female[feminine .
They were featured in a public service announcement, developed in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), encouraging people to wash their hands and keep their distance to stay safe.
Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house also reopened on Monday and gave its first concert since the lockdown – in front of an audience that didn’t have to worry about social distancing.
Instead of people, the UceLi Quartet performed I Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums) by Giacomo Puccini for 2,292 plants, one for each seat in the theater. The concert was also broadcast live for humans to watch.
The event was designed by Spanish artist Eugenio Ampudia who said he was inspired by nature during the pandemic.
“I heard a lot more birds sing. And the plants in my garden and outside grow faster. And, without a doubt, I thought maybe I could now establish a very intimate relationship with people and nature, ”he said before the performance.
At the end of the eight-minute concert, the sound of windblown leaves and branches echoed throughout the opera like applause.
The theater says it will offer the plants to local health workers as a thank you for their efforts during the pandemic. Spain’s national state of emergency was lifted on Sunday after three months of restrictions on movement and assembly.
(With contributions from agencies)