The LA Times – Hollywood’s hometown newspaper – published this report on the safety of going to the movie theatre during the COVID-19 era. They interviewed NATO’s Head of Communications, Patrick Corcoran, Cinemark’s VP of Investor and Public Relations, Chanda Brashears, and three public health experts. All parties praised the efforts made by exhibitors to implement the safety protocols and procedures in the CinemaSafe guidelines developed by the industry in consultation with medical consultants.
However, exhibitors are limited in their ability to ensure “universal compliance” with these protocols by patrons, especially when it comes to wearing masks throughout their visit. NATO’s Corcoran emphasized that studies have shown no known transmission of COVID-19 at cinemas worldwide at any point over the entire 9 months of the pandemic. Nonetheless, cinema-going is seen as riskier than any public outdoor activity, and anxiety over the potential health risks of movie-going has had a dramatic impact on theatre attendance.