Russia’s Karo Cinemas Announces August Reopening

Karo's Olga Zinyakova and Paul Heth; image courtesy Karo

Russian theater chain Karo Cinemas has set a date of Saturday, August 1st for the reopening of its Moscow-area theaters. Between August 16 and September 1, the remainder of the Karo locations throughout Russia will open their doors. Karo operates 350 screens across 30 locations, including the two highest-grossing theaters in the country.

“All of us at Karo are very excited to bring back to moviegoers of all ages the magic and wonder of grand cinematic storytelling on the big screen,” said Karo Chairman Paul Heth and President Olga Zinyakova in a joint statement. “Our cinemas are the best venues and medium for Russia’s and the world’s most imaginative and creative film makers to share their unique vision and storytelling. All Karo team members have been waiting and preparing for this day to open our doors and welcome back our loyal patrons. Moviegoing is cherished tradition for going back a century in Russia and is an experience that simply can not be replicated in the home.”

The Russian government ordered the closure of all cinemas on March 25; since then, Karo has set up two drive-in cinemas in the Moscow area. Per information provided by UNIC, cinemas were technically allowed to open in Russia starting July 15, though the governors of individual regions were able to make their own decisions as to the best reopening timeline. In Moscow, cinemas of a capacity of less than 3,000 will be able to open at half capacity as of August 1.

Major Russian exhibitors, including Karo, have released a “unified cinema safety standards” document that includes among its measures online ticketing, contactless payment and contactless receipt of goods from suppliers, monitoring of employee health, PPE use by staff, enhanced cleaning measures, and social distancing.

Karo’s programming slate upon its reopening will include a mix of new local titles and Hollywood films, including Unhinged with Russell Crowe and My Spy with Dave Bautista. Russia is one of 70 non-U.S. countries where Warner Bros. will be releasing Christopher Nolan’s Tenet starting August 26.

Karo's Olga Zinyakova and Paul Heth; image courtesy Karo