Theaters are still months away from reopening in California, according to a plan laid out on Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
In his daily briefing, Newsom outlined a four-stage plan to reopen the economy. He did not offer a specific timetable, but the plan calls for theaters to reopen in “Stage 3,” which Newsom said would be “months, not weeks” away.
“Stage 3” also entails the reopening of hair salons, nail salons, gyms, and churches, though with modified practices to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Sporting events could also resume, although without spectators.
The statewide “Stay at Home” order would be lifted in Stage 4, allowing for the resumption of concerts, conventions and sporting events with crowds. That stage would require the development of a vaccine or population-level immunity from the disease.
California is taking a far more cautious approach than some other states, especially in the South, which have already allowed theaters to reopen. Theaters in Georgia were given the green light on Monday, while theaters in Texas are allowed to reopen this Friday.
However, it does not appear that the major theater chains expect to reopen until they can do so nationwide — giving studio releases the largest audience possible.
Newsom said the state was just “weeks” away from entering “Stage 2,” which would allow the reopening of retail stores, offices and manufacturing locations, although with social distancing guidelines in place. The state would also allow the reopening of many public places.
The governor also said that the state is considering an early start to the next school year, perhaps as soon as late July.