Movie theaters are basically completely f*cked right now. And in a recent interview, The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) chief communications officer Patrick Corcoran suggested movie theaters may open for free when they’re back up and running again.
He tells Screen Rant: “We are working on it. We’re looking at what’s been happening in China. In the provinces that were least affected, they’re starting to open their theaters, and they’re open for free to patrons to coax them back. The movies they’re showing are older ones. We will see… It’s going to depend. We’re both local and national markets, and our main distribution partners are very interested in national releases as opposed to local ones, so depending on how this virus goes, and whether it’s more severe in some places and lifts sooner or later, that’s all going to go into it. We’re looking at ways to reach out to our patrons and also to our studio partners about the best ways to message and roll things out once we’re back up and running.“
One of the biggest concerns for movie theaters during this pandemic is the likelihood of viewing habits changing as potential consumers are turning more and more to streaming services.