How Movie Theaters in China are Adapting to the Pandemic

By on June 18, 2020 in NEWS

How Movie Theaters in China are Adapting to the Pandemic

Closed for four months, some movie theaters convert to outdoor dining to offset expenses.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the global film industry is severely impacted as many movie theaters are forced to stop operations. In these unprecedented times, theaters are struggling to stay afloat and many employees are at the risk of losing their jobs. Attempting to find new sources of revenue, some theaters in China are coming up with creative ideas to offset their expenses.

According to a survey released by China Film Association, if movie theaters cannot be reopened in the short term, there will be heavy financial losses. This year, box office earnings are projected to be at 6 billion Chinese yuan, a decrease of 91 percent from 2019 due to the pandemic. With theaters closed since February, many are struggling to survive under the mounting costs.

Theaters Adapt Their Business

There is currently no set date of when movie theaters can reopen in China, and many owners are forced to adjust to the challenging reality. Many employees remember thinking that the closure would only be temporary and initially adapted by offering promotions and selling packaged deals. As the pandemic worsened, many theaters began selling snacks and drinks to get rid of inventories with an expiration date. While these business changes generated some income for the theaters, it could barely cover their operating costs.

Many theaters cannot be sustained solely by selling popcorn, snacks, drinks and merchandise, and they had to resort to unconventional ideas to find income. Some theaters repurposed their buildings to wedding photography studios to attract movie fans who would rent the place for photo shoots.

In another theater in Hubei, China, the owners set up outdoor food stalls to attract fans. The food stalls are doing well and receive nearly 5,000 orders per day. Seeing how the food stalls are contributing to the theater’s bottom line, the owner is even seen selling grilled squid.

For many employees who lost their jobs, many have been forced to change their careers. Some have pursued careers in the insurance industry, and others have started their own online businesses using their knowledge of the film industry. One creative entrepreneur is piggybacking on themes from popular movies to sell fruits and merchandise.

Although some theaters found ways to adapt, the number of struggling locations that may never reopen will increase as reopening continues to be delayed. Theaters are looking forward to the day when operations can safely resume.

Source: HK01

This article is written by Sammi for JayneStars.com.

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  • 18 comments to How Movie Theaters in China are Adapting to the Pandemic

    1. pompidur says:

      Doesn’t look like there’s much social distancing in that picture above and the people aren’t wearing masks too.

      Don’t get it, what’s the difference with if they just open the theater for movies? Except one is indoor and one is outdoor.

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      • anon replied:

        @pompidur
        Aside from Beijing that is experiencing an outbreak, the rest of the country is returned to normal. Masks aren’t needed anymore.

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    2. chena says:

      Don’t mainlanders travel within China still? If so, they should ALL be wearing masks considering there’s zero physical distancing going on. And since this is outdoor dining, I wonder if they’ve asked people not to spit on the ground etc?

      Login or Register before you can reply to chena
      • m0m0 replied:

        @chena
        they could ask, but not that people have to listen. same as i am pretty sure that’s a law about spitting but who’s enforcing it?

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      • anon replied:

        @chena
        I haven’t seen anyone spit on the ground in an outdoor dining venue the last time I visited which was last November when I visited Changsha, Xi’an, Chengdu, and Guangzhou. That covers from the South, to the north, then to the west, back to the southern part of China. I’m not saying that people don’t spit in China anymore, but they are informed enough to know not to spit at a dining table. When was the last time you been to China?

        Aside from BJ, there’s hardly been any new domestic COVID-19 infections around China. Life in China has practically returned to normal. When an outbreak happens, the government is quick to shut down affected areas and adjacent neighbourhoods to halt the spread of the virus. Physical distancing is impossible to practice in China that’s why everybody wears a mask. You can’t wear a mask to eat in such case.

        You should worry about your own country’s COVID-19 outbreak, as China has done a better job of handling and managing this crisis better than pretty much every other country in the world.

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        • luye replied:

          @anon Here is a link about covid19 statuses in countries around the world.

          https://www.endcoronavirus.org/countries?fbclid=IwAR0kfv6T0KYmz7BILJKa31Xy-K6_ScUT9_n4t6–qaXdBS6GfOZdnEc0gzc

          There is a list of countries that have “beat” covid, while China is almost there. Im from the US, and unfortunately, cases are still going up.

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        • anon replied:

          @luye

          Uhm no, I am not going to put my trust in an NGO (run by 1 professor who isn’t even a medical doctor that has a Ph.D. in Physics – what even gives him the right to be talking about COVID-19 when he has no medical academia?) over the WHO, the highest governing authority for global health, run by a large group of medical doctors and medical researchers from all over the world.

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        • coralie replied:

          @anon It’s a bit smug to ask how other countries are managing this crisis, when the crisis started in China, which spread to everyone else. And one that they didn’t report on until it was too late.

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        • anon replied:

          @coralie You act as if China intentionally spreaded the virus which is the wrong way of looking at it. China is a victim themselves just like everybody else.

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        • coralie replied:

          @anon even IF China is an unwitting victim (which is still ignorant btw, as SARs was caused by similar situations and wet markets were banned for this reason, only to be reopened later), they still shouldn’t have hidden the new virus outbreak. They should’ve rang the alarms. Because of their lack of civic duty, they caused countless deaths worldwide (not to mention their own citizen’s death.) How do you go about defending them for this?

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        • chena replied:

          @anon First off, I want to say that most countries believe that China has not been honest with their covid stats. So we will take their covid numbers with a grain of salt. Two, as someone else here commented, China is to blame for covid (and SARS), so let’s not give them credit where credit doesn’t belong. Thirdly, my country and lots of other countries ARE worried about what pandemic China will cause next. So, yes, we are concerned and worried. And lastly, China would NOT be on my list of places to visit now or in the future.

          Login or Register before you can reply to chena
        • wm2017 replied:

          @chena No wonder joke of a Trump called it the Chinese Virus and I guess you are wholeheartedly w/him on that term huh? No country is safe to visit this year or next for vacations not just China but I guess China will never be on your vacation list ever anyway. 😀

          Login or Register before you can reply to wm2017
        • anon replied:

          @chena

          “First off, I want to say that most countries believe that China has not been honest with their covid stats.”

          Speak for yourself, you can’t speak for most countries. The truth is China’s numbers are vetted by the International Health community like the WHO and various leading medical experts. The numbers are legit regardless of whether that supports your anti-china narrative or not.

          “Two, as someone else here commented, China is to blame for covid (and SARS), so let’s not give them credit where credit doesn’t belong.”

          If we are going down this path of blaming countries for global pandemics. We need to blame the USA first for creating and spreading the AIDS virus in the mid 1900’s, the Spanish Flu that killed millions worldwide in the early 1900’s, and for spreading the Swine Flu in 2009 that assisted in 600,000 deaths worldwide.

          “And lastly, China would NOT be on my list of places to visit now or in the future.”

          Please don’t ever come to China, don’t pretend like you know China and don’t talk about China because you know nothing about China as your words are ignorant and baseless (absence of facts), merely spewing irrational hate and fear.

          Login or Register before you can reply to anon
        • chena replied:

          @anon generations of brainwashing has taught you well. And there are more countries in the world than just the USA. Trump is an idiot but so is Winnie the Pooh. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Moving on….

          Login or Register before you can reply to chena
        • anon replied:

          @chena
          Personal attacks are just about all you’re good for, and all that I can expect from someone that argues on a basis of spreading irrational fears and hate.

          Login or Register before you can reply to anon
        • teaalltheway replied:

          @chena @anon

          Anon you were completely spitting facts, and all this troll could reply back with nothing. Disappointed, but not surprised. Don’t know why you are on a blog that talks about Chinese entertainment if you are so anti-chinese hmm

          Login or Register before you can reply to teaalltheway
        • irtrustno1 replied:

          @chena Don’t worry. I’m from Canada. At least we all get to vote out incompetent leaders. China’s stuck with a dictator for life and the 50 cent army have been trained well to defend him. They don’t seem to care how many whistleblowers who had wanted to report the truth in the beginning of the outbreak have been sacrificed or disappeared by the government. And apparently they’re satisfied with the fake stats their government give them. Hopefully all future outbreaks remain in their territory. #trustno1

          Login or Register before you can reply to irtrustno1
        • megamiaow replied:

          @anon China isnt solely to blame for everything in this pandemic but they certainly cant take credit for dealing with it well (and releasing that tasteless series, jeez..) They absolutely tried to downplay the seriousness when it was first announced end Dec early Jan. However, once they did start releasing details of how bad it can be, the rest of the world still thought they could be sitting pretty and did close to nothing for weeks and weeks before finally taking it seriously.
          Between January to March the whole country of uk were just told to wash hands and only those visited China were told to stay at home. Thats 2 months of dilly dallying from the time of when China finally admitted it was bad. Chinas no model country in this crisis but the whole world needs to take responsibility for its handling instead of just relaying blame.

          Login or Register before you can reply to megamiaow