Georgia Theaters Can Start To Reopen Their Doors April 27th

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Kyle Brester
April 22, 2020
by Kyle Brester
People watching the new Game of thrones episode in cinema
Krists Luhaers (unsplash.com)
Krists Luhaers (unsplash.com)

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp made an announcement on Monday of a reopening plan for the state next week. Starting on April 27th, theaters are allowed to reopen and sell tickets. This reopening also includes businesses such as gyms, hair salons, bowling alleys, and tattoo parlors. Restaurants are now allowed to have limited dine-in service as well as takeout.

"In the same way that we carefully closed businesses and urged operations to end to mitigate the virus’s spread, today we’re announcing plans to incrementally and safely reopen sectors of our economy." Gov. Kemp said. "If we continue on the path we are headed down, we will totally destroy not only the U.S. economy, but also the world economy."

All these businesses, including theaters, must have strict social distancing rules and hygiene requirements in place. They will also have to follow the Phase One plan that the White House placed last week which states that gatherings of 10 or more people would be prohibited. Businesses will have to screen their workers for illness and sanitize themselves more.

The White House's plan also says that a jurisdiction can be reopened if it has met certain criteria regarding the number of COVID-19 cases. It isn't clear if Georgia has met those requirements, but Kemp has stated that the documented cases have "flattened, and appear to be declining." As of now, their state death toll from COVID-19 is at 733 while nearly 19,000 people have been infected by the virus.

The "shelter in place" order will be lifted on April 30th, but Kemp has advised to still be cautious of the virus. He mentions that the "elderly and medically fragile residents" should stay sheltered through May 13th.

I'm by no means a doctor or a state governor, but I'm unsure if now is the best time to reopen a business, especially a theater. While I understand that many businesses are desperate to reopen, I still feel that this is too soon. It seems that we are only just starting to flatten out the curve so having businesses reopen now seems to be counterproductive.

We have mentioned on our podcast many times that if your theater can reopen, you will probably not see a spike in business until maybe when Tenet comes out. This is based on the assumption that theaters will open weeks before Tenet's July 17th release with social distancing measures in place. But reopening months before any new movies come out with social distancing still in place may help keep your lights on, but audiences will still be hesitant to come back right away.

This is great to see that theaters get the chance to reopen but I worry that it still may be too soon for the businesses and for everyone's safety.
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