Cinemas will not reopen in Ireland until August 10th, according to new guidelines set out by the government last night.
In a televised address to the nation, Acting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar explained that the phased reopening of certain elements of the economy will take place over the next few weeks and months in five phases. The reopening of cinemas, however, was confirmed as part of the last phase and will not open until August 10th. This date also includes the reopening of pubs and nightclubs, as well as allowing events and festivals to take place - provided social distancing guidelines can be enforced.
This means that Christopher Nolan's 'Tenet' will not make its intended release date of July 16th here in Ireland. However, 'Wonder Woman 1984' will currently be able to open in Ireland, as the movie had its release date shifted to August 14th just a few weeks ago. Speaking to entertainment.ie yesterday, representatives of Lighthouse Cinema said that they intend to screen movies which missed their theatrical window when cinemas reopen.
The government guidelines also stipulate that social distancing guidelines will have to be in place at cinemas, meaning that many cinema screens will have to reduce their occupancy to meet the necessary criteria for opening. Prior to lockdown measures, cinemas in Ireland had already enacted social distancing measures such as blocking two seats either side of audience members, contactless payments and extensive cleaning procedures.
So far, the cinema industry has experienced huge setbacks during the current pandemic, with multinational cinema chain AMC boycotting releases from Universal Studios after they pushed 'Trolls: World Tour' to premium video on demand and bypassed its theatrical release entirely.
Many independent cinema chains in the US believe that they will not be able to weather the current climate, while directors and studio chiefs have appealed to the US government for help. Here in Ireland, some independent cinema owners, such as Graham Spurling from Movies @ Cinemas, believe that some cinemas won't survive until August 10th.
You can read the government guidelines in full here.