Los Angeles, one of the nation’s biggest theatrical exhibition markets, is poised to re-open its movie theaters as soon as this weekend depending on the outcome of a meeting of local health and state officials later this week. During a recent visit to a mobile vaccination clinic, Governor Gavin Newsom indicated movie theaters and theme parks could be coming back to life sooner rather than later–and with restrictions still in place.
It all depends on the COVID-19 vaccine and the impact it seems to be making. By Friday, Newsom says, 2 million vaccines will have been administered, an impressive milestone that also represents a hopeful dent and reversal in coronavirus trends.
“Moving through the weekend and into next week, you will see more activity, more loosening,” predicted the governor (via ). “That’s encouraging and I hope people will be enthusiastic about what this means moving forward, because we have a series of other thresholds and other goals that will allow us to move forward with more clarity, more conviction and more confidence as we move through the next few weeks and the next few months.”
As of this writing, the expected restrictions will allow movie theaters to reopen at 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is less–and outdoor live events like concerts and sports will be allowed to reopen at 20 percent capacity. According to , the larger Los Angeles market accounted for nearly 9 percent of all box office revenue in 2019.
If this is the beginning of a new nationwide trend, then it recasts our lists of and , so far, in a new light.