French cinemas will be permitted to reopen beginning on June 22, capping over three months of nationwide closures that began on March 14.
“After more than three months of cinema closures, the French will be able to rediscover the joy of the cinema experience on the big screen, and cinemas will have the pleasure of welcoming them again,” said Richard Patry, president of the FNCF, the country’s national trade association of exhibitors, in a press release.
The decision came as a surprise to several members of the country’s exhibition community, who had been expecting the official reopening period to commence in July. The shorter time frame gives the exhibition community less than four weeks to prepare, program, retrain staff, and market a return to cinemas with a limited number of titles available to them. While the date of June 22 permits cinemas to resume operations under specific guidelines, it is unyet clear how many will choose to do so by that date. As of press time, French exhibitors have yet to receive official guidelines to comply with the national reopening policies.
Several of the country’s specialty distributors have scrambled to redate films to coincide with the reopening date, with titles originally scheduled for release in mid-to-late March being part of that initial push of new content. French exhibitors are still awaiting a list of sanitary measures and best practices to comply with national reopening policies.
The reopening of French cinemas will be supported by a multi-platform marketing campaign promoting the sector. The campaign includes a national television ad campaign scheduled for primetime broadcasts and billboards and posters that will appear throughout the country.
The majority of cinemas across Europe have been closed since mid-March in an industry-wide effort to curb the spread of Covid-19. As France moves to reopen its theaters, it follows other countries that have already begun resuming operations: Austria (May 29), Bosnia & Herzegovina (May 14), Bulgaria (May 11), Croatia (May 18), Czech Republic (May 11), Denmark (May 21), Latvia (May 12), Norway (May 7), Slovakia (May 20), and Slovenia (May 18).
* DATES IN EACH COUNTRY SUBJECT TO CHANGE *
REGIONAL/GRADUAL REOPENING DATES
- Germany: From MAY 15 to JUNE 30
- Spain: From MAY 25 to JUNE 8
- Greece: Early June