Association calls for postponement of reopening of commercial movie theaters to July 2

In a letter signed by the director general of FEVIP, António Paulo Santos, and addressed to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Economy, the Minister of Culture and the Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual (ICA), the association emphasizes that “there is no at the moment, nor is there expected to be any premiere of films in the first three weeks of June and the films of the fourth week are not confirmed ”.

The Portuguese Association for the Defense of Audiovisual Works (FEVIP) wrote to the Government to propose that the reopening of commercial cinemas be made on July 02, with premieres that capture the attention of the public.

In a letter signed by the director general of FEVIP, António Paulo Santos, and addressed to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Economy, the Minister of Culture and the Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual (ICA), the association emphasizes that “there is no at the moment, nor is there expected to be any premiere of films in the first three weeks of June and the films of the fourth week are not confirmed ”.

“It is, moreover, for this reason that the announced proposal to open cinemas on the 01st of June is a surprise for this industry and it seems absolutely unreasonable and unrealistic”, adds the document, which says that the Portuguese Association of Cinematographic Companies (APEC) was not consulted about the reopening date.

Thus, FEVIP argues that the reopening date "for cinemas that operate predominantly commercially or are located in shopping centers, should be the date of July 02, giving the sector another 30 days to replenish content".

However, the association notes that the advanced proposal "does not invalidate that cinemas that are not in the conditions mentioned above, if they so wish, can open on June 01".

FEVIP states that the “opening of the theaters will have to take place on a date when the existence of films that are potentially blockbusters is expected to exist in the short term, so that the effort and reopening costs are not immediately eradicated by the lack of films. that grab large audiences ”.

The association gives the example of “Tenet”, by Christopher Nolan, which will premiere in Portugal on July 16th.

“Reopening the rooms without new films is equivalent to having a supermarket with empty shelves or full of products whose expiration date has passed”, compares the association.

In the same letter, dated May 21 and in which a meeting is requested from the Government, FEVIP states that “the minimum capacity of the rooms will have to be guaranteed at 50%, as only with this rate can the business become viable”.

“APEC, despite the fact that more than 55% of theaters did not go into 'lay-off', claimed the partial maintenance of the same, in order to allow the exhibiting companies some support, allowing them to adjust their teams. employees to the process of resuming the attendance of the rooms, which is expected to be very slow, in the first times of reopening ”, can be read in the text.

Last week, Cinema Ideal, in Lisbon, announced that it will reopen on June 01st, the day stipulated by the Government to resume the activity of cinemas, theaters, auditoriums and theaters.

Cinema Ideal's decision was revealed even before the government's official hygiene and safety rules for the reopening of cinemas, theaters, auditoriums and concert halls were officially announced.

In addition to Cinema Ideal, exhibitor Medeia Filmes revealed on the official website that Nimas cinema will also reopen in Lisbon on June 10, but details on access and security conditions will be revealed at a press conference on June 01.

Contacted by Lusa, source of the exhibitor NOS Cinemas - leader of the commercial exhibition circuit - she said she has no official information about the reopening of the 219 rooms she owns, because she also wants to know officially what the Government decides on required seating and conduct within the movie theater.

In contacts made in the last days with other exhibitors, source of the company NLC - Cinema City, the third largest exhibitor in Portugal, with 46 cinemas, he indicated to the Lusa agency that he was preparing the reopening, “but never for the 01st”, because "like the entire cinema market, nationally and internationally, it does not meet the necessary conditions for opening in early June".

According to the ICA, the Portuguese commercial cinema exhibition network includes 535 screens, with about 99 thousand seats.

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