If Movie Theaters Reopened, Would You Go?

Mish

Trump has slated movie theaters as one of the first businesses to reopen. Will you go?

Trump has a Three Phase Plan to Reopen America. 

  • Phase one: Restaurants, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship and gyms can reopen if they observe strict social distancing. Elective surgeries can resume when appropriate on an outpatient basis.
  • Phase two: Schools and organized youth activities like camps can reopen. Nonessential travel can resume, and people can start circulating in parks, outdoor recreational areas and shopping centers, while avoiding gatherings of more than 50 individuals unless unspecified precautionary measures are taken.
  • Phase three: Vulnerable individuals can resume public interactions but practice social distancing. Employers can resume unrestricted staffing of workplaces. Large public venues can operate under limited social distancing rules. Visits to senior care facilities and hospitals can resume.

Trump Will "Allow" What He Can't

In his national address, Trump said he "If they [the states] need to remain closed we would allow them to do that."

That is of course ridiculous. It is not Trump's prerogative to forbid or allow states to open or shut. 

He can make recommendation and he did, 18 pages of them if you click on the above link.

Movie Theater Questions Abound

  1. How does the theater enforce distancing at these checkpoints: entering, seating, concession stands, rest rooms? 
  2. Would the theaters be profitable with those restrictions?
  3. Where's the movies? Movie releases have been delayed and blockbusters won't be the first offerings. 
  4. Assuming the theaters open up, would you go?
  5. How many people are now accustomed to watching movies at home on Netflix etc, and won't easily go back to overpaying for the seat and massively overpriced popcorn?

Ultimately, it's one thing to suggest movie theaters can open first, it's another thing to say you will "allow" it, and it is a third thing to get people in the door.

Finally, given that the decision is up to the states, If New York, California, Illinois and other big states open up slowly, the new releases will not even be that attractive.

But this is in the eyes of a person who goes to see a movie about once every two years, if that. And I only watch TV a couple hours a month as well.

So you tell me: How likely is this idea? The same question applies to restaurants as well. 

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (144)
No. 1-50
CaliforniaStan
CaliforniaStan

People can go to movie theaters and churches indoors before they are even allowed to go to the park or go fishing at an outdoor recreation area? Who thought this up? Oh, right. Someone in the Trump administration. Got to get that evangelical vote! Seems you would want hunting in Phase 1 to get the NRA vote.

ClydeThe Raven
ClydeThe Raven

Who wants to eat out when served by wait staff who don't know the menu, give poor service, and then act indignant when they don't get the tip they believe they deserve?

tokidoki
tokidoki

I love movies, but I will not go until at least another 3 months have passed.

But I might go earlier under the following conditions:

  1. Temperature check before going in.
  2. Wearing a mask is made compulsory.
  3. Enough distancing within the theater.
TimeToTest
TimeToTest

The biggest question of all is when will the movies come back?

Right now production is shutdown on almost all major production of movies and tv shows around the globe.

Might be the lack of content is the biggest problem. Watch the credits after a movie to see the thousands of people that worked on it.

Jackula
Jackula

That gets a big LOL! Not till I have a treatment that is 99.99% effective or I have taken a serum anti-body test that shows I have antibodies.

Woodturner
Woodturner

From the multitude of scientific opinions out there it seems a moderate consensus is this virus will be with us for two years. And a vaccine isn’t assured either. My neighbor is a young professor specializing in mathematical models of the spread of the flu. He says we know enough to predict out 3-6 weeks but not much longer than that. He is now implementing a university based random testing in our community to see what the prevalence of the virus is. It’s the first one in the country. FYI, many university labs have the equipment and expertise to perform hundreds or thousands of tests a day if allowed. It took his team from Oregon State about 5 weeks of seven day a week work to adapt a program to existing regulations and find the funding to do the tests. They’ll initially do 5000 tests over five weeks. But could ramp way up on volume.

TumblingDice
TumblingDice

I would go to a movie if not too busy.

I go intermittently though.

My two pet peeves with theatres are blaring the sound during previews (I have one good ear and would like to protect my hearing).

The other is portion size for popcorn and drink is ridiculous - way too large. This contributes to America's obesity problem. The smallest soda offered is regular - which is 32 oz.

Cleverbanana
Cleverbanana

So, no more weddings unless all guests have proof of tests or antibodies, everybody wears a mask (so much for pics), temperature checks at the door, and proper distancing while toasting and dancing? Great!

klausmkl
klausmkl

So far most new movies were junk. They would have to come up with decent content. Otherwise No. I hAVE ZERO FEAR of this virus. I am very fit though and not an average american adult obese slob.

RonJ
RonJ

Why are people allowed to go to grocery stores?

sangell
sangell

Entertainment should be about the last thing we reopen. For one thing there is an enormous, low cost library of it. I'm surprised MLB isn't offering 'vintage baseball' in lieu of a 2020 season. Most baseball fans are historically minded so watching Al Kaline, Sandy Koufax and other past superstars playing again would probably get a bigger audience than watching a nothing game between the Dodgers and Detroit in April anyway. Same goes for movies. I watch TCM occasionally because I like film noir, vintage cars and Rhonda Fleming in a bathing suit.

BaronAsh
BaronAsh

Yes, I might go, but probably not because most movies are boring for me these days. That said:

  1. Probably about 30+% of the population already has been exposed - far more than have been tested. The death rate is 0.2% or less.

  2. If mainly young people go out first (because they can't take it any more), nearly all of them will be exposed rapidly with little ill effect at which point herd immunity will be more or less in place. People go back to work with slightly better hygiene but otherwise the same as usual.

  3. high-risk people lay low for a while longer, but if they go out, just be careful.

The sooner everyone gets exposed, the better. Hiding away from it is the coward's approach and has been used to manipulate people into undermining their own nations. A highly successful asymmetric war tactic. And next time they pull that trigger, nation states have been now trained, pavlov-style, to go straight into another lock-down again.

Of course this begs the question: 'who is 'they?''
Enquiring minds want to know!

numike
numike

Riiiight A cold or hot smelly sticky to whatever you touch dark room and as you enter people are coughing. I didn't go to theaters well before the covid 19

CzarChasm-Reigns
CzarChasm-Reigns

Me thinks King Chaos doth proclaim way too much.

Blurtman
Blurtman

Did We Just Destroy the Economy for a Bug with a 0.14% Fatality Rate?

If you remember way back to my second Corinavirus post 6 weeks ago, I posted that the fatality rate of this coronavirus was far less than the media was reporting. Now a new Stanford study just supported that idea after testing a large sample of people in one community. The results look much like my initial thoughts, the death rate of coronavirus is nowhere near what has been reported. Let’s dig in.

The Basic Math Problem with Media Reported Mortality Rates

The media has reported all sorts of fatality rates for COVID-19. Everything from 1% (ten times more lethal than the average flu bug among all age groups) to 3-7%. The actual mortality rates reported back in early March outside of environments that were total chaos were 0.2%-0.65% (1-3). The current US rate based on our total tests versus total deaths is about 0.5%.

However, anyone with a medical or science background has known for quite some time that these numbers are fiction. Meaning that we know that there are huge swaths of people out there who had the bug and never had any or had very mild symptoms and who were never tested. Hence, the real math looks like this:

I called the “Sick that Tested Positive” rate the “Gupta Fatality Rate” because of a gaffe made by CNN’s Sanjay Gupta at a White House press conference. However, the real rate can only be determined once we know how many are positive for COVID-19 in a given community versus how many died. So what’s that REAL FATALITY number?

The Stanford Fatality Rate Based on New Data

A crew from Stanford decided to test more than three thousand people in Santa Clara County, California for antibodies to the novel coronavirus on April 3rd-4th. (4). Based on various adjustments including for the test accuracy, the percentage of the population that tested positive for COVID-19 in Santa Clara ranged from 2.5-4.2%. Given that Santa Clara County has 1.93 million people, that means that the researchers estimated that 48,000-81,000 people were infected. If we split that in the middle, that’s about 64,500 people.

First, these numbers show that the virus had spread far wider than anyone had thought. However, there is a MUCH bigger story here. Why? The total number of people who have perished to date due to COVID-19 two weeks later, in Santa Clara county is 73 (5). Even if we add another 20 deaths for people now in the hospital, the total fatality rate is 93/64,500 or 0.14%!

Did We Shut Down the Entire Country for a Bug with a 0.14% Fatality Rate?

What’s the fatality rate of the flu among all age groups? Depending on who is reporting the data, about 0.10% or less (6). The best flu fatality rates are in the 0.05% range, but higher death rates are reported, in particular in Asia.

So based on this new data, which is the most expansive to date, COVID-19 is about 2-3 times as lethal as a bad flu bug. That statement alone will get me many comments that will span from thanks for being honest here to outright unmitigated hate. However, near as I can tell, it’s a true statement based on the best available evidence. If you can debunk it with this Santa Clara data or a similar dataset where an entire community was randomly tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, please do so in the comments.

Why COVID-19 is Worse than the Flu

First, as I have written, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is likely 2-3 X more lethal than the flu. However, COVID-19 is different than the flu. First, unlike the flu, it hits the elderly the hardest and it doesn’t seem to hit the very young. In addition, it also seems to kill seemingly random individuals who likely wouldn’t perish from the flu. That could be due to the “cytokine storm” I’ve discussed. In addition, this virus requires significantly more hospital resources than the flu in terms of ventilators and how quickly patients get severe. Meaning COVID-19 patients need emergency intubation much more frequently than severe flu patients, which creates a HUGE burden on the healthcare system and doctors.

So what we did to avoid the overload of the health system was the right thing. This is also no time for a blame game. Were we as prepared as South Korea? NO. However, it was their third major SARS virus rodeo and this was our first in a century. Hence, when I look around at Republican and Democratic governors, no one political party fared any better than another. All have had successes and failures in battling this bug.

However, now that we have our health system prepared and ramped up, it’s time to clear the air and see where we are. Where’s that? We have a nasty bug that can kill quickly, but that kills at 2-3X the rate of the flu. Hence, it’s time to smartly open up the economy or we’re creating bigger problems for ourselves.

The Post-COVID Depression

The unemployment rate currently is believed to be about 17%. That will likely rise over the next few weeks as businesses that are hit hard by COVID shed employees once the Payroll Protection program expires. When was the last time we saw unemployment rates of 20%? The great depression. Hence, it’s time to take this new fatality data, begin widespread testing, and continue our clinical trials into effective treatments for COVID-19. In the meantime, it’s also time to start opening up regions of this country and finding new jobs for all of those who are impacted!

The upshot? This is a bad bug and I’m glad we closed it all down. However, it’s now time to safely begin opening up the country and recognize the lethality of our foe with a heavy heart, but a clear mind.

tz3
tz3

This is why we need tyannical draconian micromanagement regulation because Movie Theaters and Movie Goers can't possibly figure out how to do the social distance thing or whether they should wear masks. We need cops with pepper spray and tasers - and loaded guns with the safetys off just in case a patron does something unapproved.

We need a new bureaucracy or agency. Theater Universal Regulatory Department.

We are all going to die from pollution anyway because Trump cut the EPA since consumers aren't smart enough to spend an extra $20,000 to get 5 more MPG and a smaller carbon footprint.

How about letting a libertarian free market actually work. Illinois can go full Stalin-Mao, but let the red states and counties (remember the election graph) open up.

I will deal with the hockey shtick in another message.

tz3
tz3

The global warming and Covid models had both the hockey stick and totally wrong predictions in common.

When tested, we find many more have had the Coronavirus from antibodies, or are showing no symptions but testing positive.

There is a tiny fraction of the population that is young and healthy and have a reaction, but that also happens with the flu and even more often with vaccines for non-deadly diseases.

The rest have co-morbidities. COPD, Immunosuppression, other infections, etc. It appears the average age for deaths is well above 75, and almost all were in nursing homes or some other type of critical care. So we have to keep the economy shut down because we refuse to isolate these vulnerable people? When it hits a nursing home, all the residents get it (they are terrible, even for CDif and MRSA). Half die, the other half end up testing positive without noticable events.

Yet we are coding deaths wrong - If I get hit by a truck, fall down a cliff, and get mauled by a bear and die, and if I have some kind of respiratory problem it will be labeled a Covid 19 death.

But for all the science that says it is only a typical, not uniquely deadly virus (except for the sick elderly whom we can and should deal with), we have shut down the economy, have totalitarian governors with draconian restrictions on everything, and because someone doesn't like Trump ignores all this and wants to turn the USA into Venezuela.

But then we won't need either the truckers or self-driving trucks.

If you are scared to go to the movies, then don't.

There are plenty of what would be 2nd run movies I'd see: 1917, Sonic, even Joker again.

njbr
njbr

Of course it is a great idea to bring people into a dimly lit space that is rarely cleaned thoroughly by the lazy teen-aged staff, sit in a chair with arms that are sticky, press the recliner button that is used hundreds of time a week, and sit through a 2 + hour event with your neighbors snuffling and crunching their way through a giant tub of popcorn that they loaded with "butter" that they filled from a communal nozzle.

Isn't that what freedumb is all about? Liberate yourself from your fascist government lockdown?

Grandma, grandpa, your overweight brother and cancerstick smoking dad recognize your right to sacrifice them for your constitutional right to watch episode 290 of the Marvel movie saga. I'm sure of it.

It's exactly the same as Rosa Parks--after all it was exactly about her right to sit, too, wasn't it? There was a movie of that too, am I right?

Russell J
Russell J

This is one of the business's that I just can't imagine being able to adjust to this new reality, maybe drive ins will become popular again.

njbr
njbr

Meanwhile, today in movie-land

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 81 new deaths and 642 new cases of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). This is the highest number of daily reported deaths in LA County to date, and the total number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 almost doubled this past week. Over the last 48 hours, there have been 1,209 new cases. Fifty-six people who died were over the age of 65; 18 people who died were between the ages of 41 to 65 years old; one person who died was between the ages of 18 to 40 years old. Sixty-three people who died had underlying health conditions; 52 people over the age of 65; 10 people between the ages of 41 to 65 years old; and one person between the ages of 18 to 40 years old. Two deaths were reported by the city of Long Beach and four deaths were reported by the city of Pasadena.

NewUlm
NewUlm

If you are under 50 and no heath issue (aka my fam), we will start to resume life with reasonable precautions. My demographic is at as about 2x as much risk as a flu, less for my kids. In fact we had an outdoor fire with 4 families while the kids played yesterday afternoon.

If I had a pre existing condition like diabetes, hypertension, etc or was over 60 than I would continue to stay isolated.

At the end of the day, we need to judge personal risk.

tokidoki
tokidoki

It's easy to think that theaters can be retrofitted to have private viewing boxes. Then you can do what you like inside. Social distancing is automatically built in.

wootendw
wootendw

"Restaurants, movie theaters, sporting venues, places of worship and gyms can reopen if they observe strict social distancing."

I'd go to the gym right now if I could.

I'd go to the movies if there were anything worth seeing. Haven't been to theater since 2007.

All stores should be able re-open. It's the individual's choice whether or not to go. But it is doubtful they'll go anywhere they can do without like restaurants and movie theaters. I'm sorry to see restaurants close but if Hollywood is hurt, I'm fine with it.

Montana33
Montana33

I used to go to movies twice a month and I will NOT go near a theater until this is fully over or When I and my husband have full immunity. Furthermore I will insist my adult children and entire extended family behave the same - and they do listen to me. Movie theaters are completely unnecessary and why would anyone take a chance? We do takeout food and that’s great but I won’t go near the inside of a restaurant either. Screw the gym. Zumba online is the new workout. Life is completely altered until this is 100% over

Montana33
Montana33

And I have to scold anyone who takes a chance on killing their family members by not staying sequestered. Have a teen who vapes? Maybe you’ll kill them. Have a nephew with diabetes like I do? Have a grandma over 80? Have anyone with autoimmune issues or asthma? You could be the one who delivers death to them - and YES people will blame you if you’re going to the gym, movies and restaurants. So... if you take those risks you had better write off the at-risk people you love and never see them - ever.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

I have read through many posts here arguing but I have not seen anyone talk about the financial risks about this whole mess. If you go, out get sick and end up in the hospital do you have the monet for a $30,000 medical bill? what if you test positive but never got sick, are you prepared for a lawsuit if someone claims you infected them? If you get sick at work is that considered a workers comp claim?

Yeah it sucks the economy is shutdown but if things get really out of hand, the damage will be 10 fold because you now have dead consumers, endless litigation, overwhelmed hospitals and staff. It takes years to train medical people so if they quit or die.

BBQPaul
BBQPaul

I keep reading these plans and from a canary in the coal mine I keep listening to Adam Silver. As of now, he says they don’t know when. He was proactive and measured. The NBA May have never mattered more.

redyanna
redyanna

Wish, I think most of your readers are highly educated people with capacity to think. You may need to reach the covidiots to have a meaningful result.

Carl_R
Carl_R

Trump was trying to pick the businesses where people are most apt to pick up infections, right?

Stan88
Stan88

If they lowered the price of a movie ticket to $4.00 I might go

tokidoki
tokidoki

24 Hours Fitness preparing for bankruptcy.

Yeah I know it's not a movie theater, but ......

RayLopez
RayLopez

I'd go to the movie theatre in these Covid-19 times if they were showing a remake of the movie Outbreak... (cough, cough)

Lutherewton
Lutherewton

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Jinny
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sardar
sardar

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beardiesarelife
beardiesarelife

I'd go to the movie theatre in these Covid-19 times if they were showing a remake of the movie Outbreak... (cough, cough)

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Myks
Myks

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inspiredogs
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