China re-opens first cinema since coronavirus shutdown

“We can’t stay closed forever"

After two months of closures, China has seen its first cinema reopen since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Zhongying Golden Palm Cinema, in Urumqi (in northwestern China) opened its doors to the public on Monday (March 16) after being closed since  January 26.

The cinema informed filmgoers they had scheduled 22 screenings the night before, of four Chinese films. On the first day though, no viewers


“We can’t stay closed forever. We can only cooperate with the notices, and test the situation a bit, and see what feedback we get from the public,” said a man surnamed Ding to Sohu Entertainment, who runs cinema operations.

Speaking of the viability of staying open without customers, Ding continued: “If there are no new films, it makes no difference if we’re open or not. At the moment, we only have these few films; we have to wait and see if there will be new movies released.”

The cinema has not let re-opened online booking as to avoid overcrowding. “We want to take things slowly. If the reaction is pretty good, we’ll slowly re-open bit by bit, and if it’s bad, we’ll stay shut,” said Ding.

A number of film and TV projects in production have been postponed or suspended due to the spread of the virus – read here for the full list.