Bright lights return, as cinemas reopen in Shanxi
A boy registers at the entrance of a cinema in Shanxi province. [Photo/Shanxi Daily]
After being closed for more than half a year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, 214 out of 324 cinemas in North China's Shanxi province have reopened to the public since July 20 -- with 66 percent of the total now screening films.
Those operating have strictly limited audience numbers per screening to 30 percent of capacity, with no adjacent seats for viewers allowed, in order to meet the local authorities' stringent requirements.
Audience members are required to wear protective masks during screenings, register using the QR code health system on their mobile phones and take their temperatures at the cinema entrances.
In an interview with Shanxi Theatre, its Chairman Du Maoquan said the facilities in the public areas of the cinema were being disinfected regularly to enable the audience to watch films at their ease.
Viewers are seated at intervals in a cinema in Shanxi province. [Photo/Shanxi Daily]
To encourage people to enjoy the big screen again, quite a few cinemas -- like the China Film Stellar International Cineplex in local Yangquan city -- are offering ticket discounts and other incentives, especially targeting high school graduates and medical workers.
A wide variety of films have been scheduled, to pull the movie-goers in. These include showing classic movies, previous blockbusters and increasing the number of new films from home and abroad.
"After the theater resumed operating, ticket sales have increased by about 15 percent every day and I'm confident about this year's movie market and the future box office as more movies hit the screen," Shanxi Theatre's Du Maoquan said.
Officials said the remaining 110 theaters in the province will resume operations at the end of July and in early August.
Rural public welfare screenings in seven Shanxi cities -- including Taiyuan, Datong, Yangquan, and Changzhi -- have also resumed. And screenings in rural areas of the other four cities, including Jincheng and Xinzhou, were scheduled to restart before the end of July.