Following guidelines laid down by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Los Angeles County has entered the orange tier for reopenings—meaning that movie theaters in that county can increase their capacity limits from 25 to 50 percent.
As laid out in California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, with L.A. County’s move to the orange tier, movie theaters can operate at 50 percent capacity per auditorium or 200 people, whichever is fewer. The change to 50 percent capacity is expected to be enacted in the coming days.
Los Angeles theaters were allowed to reopen weeks ago at the red tier, meaning a capacity limit of 25 percent or 100 people per auditorium. Before that point, theaters in Los Angeles County had been shuttered since last March. Shortly before the reopening of L.A. theaters, New York City allowed their cinemas to reopen under a 25 percent capacity limit—signaling a return to moviegoing for the domestic market’s top two DMAs.
Also roughly coinciding with Los Angeles cinemas’ bump to 50 percent capacity will be the reopening of Regal cinemas across the U.S.. The cinema chain, North America’s second largest, will begin reopening theaters on April 2, with a larger wave of theaters reopening on April 16.