Cinemas in Singapore are set to reopen later this month as the city-state takes further steps towards a new post-coronavirus normality. Multiple social distancing and public hygiene measures will inform the cinemas operations.
Major cinema chains announced that they will reopen their doors from July 13, following an announcement from the Infocomm Media Development Authority. Some independents said they would reopen on July 15.
“Both IMDA and Singapore Film Commission (SFC) have assessed that the Mandatory Safe Management Measures for Cinemas meet the necessary precautionary measures for managing the COVID-19 related risks in cinemas. The Mandatory Safe Management Measures for cinemas are a result of consultation with key industry stakeholders,” the IMDA statement said.
Cinemas were ordered closed from March 26 in order to help the city control the spread of coronavirus. With its population of 5.5 million, Singapore has recorded 44,800 cases of COVID-19 infection.
Each cinema hall will be limited to a maximum of 50 patrons at a time. And guests must wear masks at all times, except when eating and drinking. Up to five people who are friends or family may sit together without the 1 metre safe distancing requirement. But all other audience members must comply with the 1 metre safe distancing requirement.
The separate chains have each published their own additional guidelines for how their cinemas will be operated after re-opening. They all stress temperature checks, use of the government-issued SafeEntry app and increased sanitization measures, though they differ slightly on seating arrangements.
The box office in Singapore is normally dominated by mainstream Hollywood movies. In recent days, these have seen the release dates of “Tenet” and “Mulan” moved backwards.
That may allow Korean-made “Train to Busan” sequel “Peninsula” to be among the first wide-release new title to play Singapore theaters. It is currently scheduled for a July 15 day-and-date outing co-ordinated with the film’s premiere in South Korea.