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Some predictions show up to 60% of movie theaters could close due to COVID-19 crisis

Posted at 2:56 PM, Sep 29, 2020

Movie theaters are at risk and some predictions show up to 60% could close, according to the CEO of Studio Movie Grill, Brian Schultz.

The big chains are facing obstacles like limited capacity, a lack of new movies, and a slow return by audiences.

“The majority of our attendance is these private events we're doing where we rent out an auditorium for $200,” said Schultz.

Schultz says revenue is around 20% of what it was last year.

The theater chain has new sanitary procedures, increased air flow circulation, added filters, and a system to keep families together but socially distant.

“Part of what makes going to a movie theater great is people laughing together, people crying together, reacting and being surprised,” said Schultz.

Amy Southgate and her husband started hosting movie night in their driveway at the start of the pandemic. They recently moved it to a private theater.

“We have a couple elderly neighbors and like to kind of check in on them and keep them involved since some of their regular activities were canceled during COVID, so it was just a good way to get all our neighbors and friends involved,” said Southgate.

Theaters are renting out space where you can watch pretty much any movie, including the classics.

“With the current pandemic situation, there isn’t a whole lot for folks to get excited about and look forward to, so this is something we can put on our calendars and get excited to come and do safely,” said Southgate.

Theaters allowed private events before the pandemic. Now, they're more affordable.

They're banking on a couple of big movies in November to help, including a James Bond film and Pixar’s movie "Soul."