Vietnam theaters to start showing films again en masse following government permission
Movie theaters in Vietnam will reopen en masse on Saturday after the government has allowed non-essential businesses to operate again, given a slowing novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection rate.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said on Thursday that all non-essential services can resume operations, bar discos and karaoke parlors.
Cinemas fall into this non-essential category and have been closed since as far back as February, the Vietnam Film Distribution Association said in a document submitted to the government asking for help last month.
The Vietnamese government started relaxing its stringent social distancing measures on April 23 after COVID-19 transmission has significantly decelarated since early last month, with no community-transmitted cases having been recorded in the last three weeks.
Later on Thursday, several movie theater operators announced plans to reopen.
“CGV cinemas will open again across the country on Saturday,” said Nguyen Quoc Khanh, a media representative of the South Korean-owned cinema chain.
CGV Lang Son, located in the namesake province in northern Vietnam, is set to open on Friday after obtaining permission from local authorities.
The movie theater chain operator will show blockbusters to lure customers back, such as Hobbs & Shaw, Johnny English, The Invisible Man, The Dustwalker, and Honest Candidate.
The chain operator says it will adhere to temperature checks, face mask sporting, and physical distancing protocols to ensure safety for both staff and moviegoers.
The operator of BHD theaters told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that they will start showing films again on Saturday.
Some old blockbusters are expected to be on at BHD locations to stimulate demand after a long hiatus.
Lotte Cinema, another chain of movie theaters from South Korea, said they had got back to the business of exhibition in nothern Thai Binh Province since May 6.
The operator is stepping up safety measures to reopen other locations throughout the country.
Lotte Cinema is slated to screen Nang 3: Loi Hua Cua Cha, a successful Vietnamese movie popular with viewers before the social distancing period.
Galaxy Cinema owners say they are waiting for directions from authorities in nationwide provinces and cities following the government’s permission to restart business.
Another movie theater chain, Beta Cineplex, will reopen some locations on Saturday and come back in full swing next week.
Vietnam has confirmed 288 COVID-19 patients to date, with 233 recoveries and no virus-caused death.
The country announced 17 new cases on Thursday, all imported and detected in a collective quarantine center.
Tuoi Tre News – May 8, 2020