China reopens cinema houses six months after shutdowns

China has reopened its cinema houses after being shut for over six months amid coronavirus restrictions.

China Film Administration said screens in “low-risk” areas could open their doors again from Monday (today).

Most of the nation is classified as low risk, cinemas are set to open up nationwide.

China’s cinemas were hit hard by the shutdown that started in January, with many already forced out of business.

Cinemas that reopen will be subject to a strict set of rules, including screenings being limited to 30% capacity and the number of movies shown at a venue capped at 50% of its previous volume.

Customers’ temperatures will be taken, and masks will have to be worn at all times by both cinema goers and staff.

Tickets must be purchased online and separate groups of customers will have to sit at least a metre apart.

Under the restrictions no food or drinks will be allowed to be served in cinemas. This will be a particularly major new blow as it has long been a significant part of the industry’s revenues.

China is the world’s second largest market for movies. The film industry minted $9.2 billion in 2019.