Estonian movie theaters propose reopening from June 10

Cinema audience.
Cinema audience. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Estonian movie theaters have proposed to the government to be reopened already on June 10 instead of July 1.

"Reopening movie theaters is important for the Estonian movie industry as a whole, because the audience of Estonian movies is predominantly local and the industry depends on local ticket revenue," the movie theaters write. "This year is also special as the release of 'Tenet,' the movie with the largest ever budget filmed on Estonian soil, is scheduled to be released in July."

Both the government's scientific council and the Health Board agree that the outcome of recent mitigations has to be analyzed before further relaxations can be talked about. More accurate results can be seen in two weeks, Martin Kadai, Head of the Emergency Medicine Department of the Health Board told ERR on Wednesday.

If the epidemiological situation remains good in two weeks time, the Health Board will consider further easing of restrictions, but cinemas cannot be granted an exemption, as they fall under the category of public events, Kadai added.

The petition is signed by Apollo, Forum Cinemas, Cinamon, Artis, Sõprus and Elektriteater, who say that movie theaters should be opened in three stages:

Stage 1 (June 10)

  • 50 percent usage of auditoriums, 2+2 rule complied with in public spaces (lobbies, checkouts). Seating carried out over one (that is, two people seated side-by-side followed by one empty seat (excluding families), or one person followed by one empty seat)
  • Ticket sales only carried out by contactless electronic means, including in ticket booths at cinemas
  • Reduced usage of auditoriums followed for ticketing
  • Sale of food and beverages to be consumed in auditoriums allowed only when prepackaged and done by contactless means
  • Presence of disinfectants in auditoriums

Stage 2 (unspecified date)

  • Elimination of restrictions on auditorium usage
  • Sale of food and beverages to be consumed in auditoriums allowed only when prepackaged
  • Same rules followed regarding ticketing as are in effect in shopping malls
  • Presence of disinfectants in shared spaces (lobbies, bathrooms)

Stage 3 (unspecified date)

  • Easing of all restrictions related to the coronavirus


Editor: Anders Nõmm

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