France’s movie theaters may be able to re-open at the beginning of July, the country’s Culture Minister Franck Riester said today. A further update is expected at the end of this month, however, Riester told local radio this morning that the government believes a certain number of cinemas may be able to get back to work in early July.
“We are working on it,” Riester said, “and everything will be decided at the end of May for a progressive opening while respecting specific measures, be they for concerts, theaters or cinemas.”
France’s movie theaters went dark in mid-March as a nationwide lockdown began. This past Monday, May 11, the country came out of confinement but with some restrictions in place. Restaurants and bars are still shuttered until June 2 and people are advised not to travel beyond 100 kilometers from their homes. All events that assemble more than 5,000 people are banned until the end of August.
While some smaller international box office markets have recently begun to open across Europe (and along with pockets in majors like Germany as well as the key Asian hubs of Korea and Japan), this is being done at a progressive pace and without any new product to offer. Waiting until July for France would be in keeping with the current timetable in the UK and would be in step with when the first new studio films are expected to be released.
France is currently divided into green and red zones with the latter representing the areas of greater coronavirus concern. The Ile de France, which includes Paris, is still in the red and it is expected it would have to turn green before cinemas would be allowed to open in what is the biggest box office region in the hexagon.
In a spot of bright news for the country’s tourism, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Thursday that the French “will be able to go on vacation in France during July and August.”