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Students’ thoughts on movie theater reopenings

Nothing beats going to the movies with a couple of friends on a Friday night. Well, except COVID-19, of course.

Throughout the summer, movie studios have delayed premieres or elected to release films via streaming platforms due to the pandemic.

With summer coming to an end and fall on the horizon, many movies are set to release soon, whether they’re in theaters or not.

This leads to two questions: Will movie theaters officially reopen, and will people actually go?

Sophomore Rene Rojas, a frequent moviegoer when allowed the opportunity, doesn’t want to take the risk if his friends invite him to go once they reopen.

“It’s 2020, we should be able to buy movies at a cheaper price rather than paying to see them in theaters,” Rojas said. “People should understand that we can watch movies at the comfort of our own home while also saving lives.”

Although staying at home is the safer option, going to the theaters is undeniably a different experience.

And once theaters reopen to the public, the experience will become much more different than what we’re used to.

While it varies theater to theater, Cinemark and other chains have opted for strict safety protocols to help keep their patrons safe.

Along with following the mask-wearing mandate, Cinemark is requiring both employees and patrons to wear gloves to decrease physical contact.

Another drastic change to the movie-going experience includes staggering showtimes to ensure the theaters’ limited capacity and social distancing.

In an interview with 41 Action News, Chanda Brashears, vice president of investor and public relations for Cinemark USA Inc., said employees will sanitize auditoriums every morning and in between showtimes.

As employees are taking every precaution they can to make theaters a safe spot, it’s difficult to tell if their efforts are enough.

Sophomore Alejandra Frias Fraire believes that theaters should stay closed for a longer time as COVID-19 cases continue to rise even when people follow safety protocols.

In mid-June, she tested positive for COVID-19, despite wearing a mask and socially distancing herself to the best of her abilities.

Lucky enough, she was fine after quarantining herself at home for about four weeks.

“Sometimes by even taking every precaution, people get infected because it is simply that contagious,” said Frias Fraire. “During these times, we have to be more compassionate of others and engrave it in our heads that we could be a danger to others.”

acqn3@mail.umkc.edu

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