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In China, Movie Theaters Have Begun Reopening

But they're not exactly crowded
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2020 6:30 PM CDT
Theaters Start Reopening but Don't Draw Customers
A customer looks at a poster for the film "Bohemian Rhapsody" at a movie theater in Beijing last March.   (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

(Newser) – As China considers the pandemic to be easing, the country has begun to reopen movie theaters. More than 500 in five provinces are back in business, Variety reports, though they aren't doing much business. The theaters brought in less than $2,000 combined on Friday. Two provinces reported that no tickets were sold. To make sure there were no crowds, the theaters aren't showing any new blockbusters; recent reruns and popular Chinese films are being screened. The idea was to encourage customers to get used to going out again, per NPR. If that happens, theaters could reopen more widely in April.

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The current number open accounts for less than 5% of the theaters operating before the coronavirus outbreak. The nation's 70,000 theaters were closed in January. For the first two months of the year, box office was off almost $2 billion compared to the first two months of 2019, per Business Insider. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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