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Adam MacDonald
European Sales Manager - GDC Technology
Asked a question 2 years ago

How are cinemas planning to allocate seating based on social distancing when they are able to re-open, and will their be a 'standard' or guideline published on this from official cinema trade bodies?

Since our first live session we've received so much feedback, emails and questions we feel it would be wrong just to store it all as a survey response. 

For that reason we've created this community where you'll be able to bring up new topics, ask questions, discuss directly with each other, and continue the discussion also after the webinar has ended.

On behalf of the cinema community: Thank you for contributing!

J. Sperling Reich
Executive Editor of Celluloid Junkie

How cinemas will allocate seating when they reopen after the pandemic will be dependent upon a number of factors:

  1. Infection rate trends in the geographic area in which a cinema is located.
  2. Where the cinema is located geographically and what the local health guidance or regulations are in that area.
  3. Whether a cinema has technology capable of selling seats with an appropriate "social distance" between them.
  4. A cinema operator's willingness, both financially and operationally, for reducing their auditorium capacity.

Item number 1 may dictate when cinemas reopen in a certain geographic area, what the health guidelines are (item 2), whether audiences will feel comfortable returning to the movies and thus whether a theatre owner would be foolish not to reduce capacity, no matter their willingness (item 4).

Item 3 is probably not much of a hurdle as technology providers, point-of-sale vendors, etc. are working hard to enable reduced capacity sales.

However, because of point 2 above, even if industry trade groups publish a standard guideline for how cinemas should take social distancing into account, it will likely be superseded by instructions from local health authorities in each region. 

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