Los Angeles, New York City movie theaters ordered to close due to coronavirus concerns
New York City and Los Angeles are taking significant measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus, which has been labeled by the World Health Organization as a pandemic. Both cities will enforce temporary closures of movie theaters, night clubs, and more.
In a Sunday live conference, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the closure of movie theaters, bars, nightclubs, gyms, bowling alleys, arcades, and restaurants except for takeout and delivery, until March 31. Grocery stores, food banks, and pharmacies will remain open. The regulation will go into effect Monday at midnight.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced on Sunday that "nightclubs, movie theaters, small theater houses, and concert venues must all close." The order will go into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 9 a.m. ET. He added that on Monday, he will "sign an Executive Order limiting restaurants, bars and cafes to food take-out and delivery."
Moviegoing took a hit this weekend as the three-day box office earnings in North America hit a 20-year low with $55.3 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Previously, AMC Theaters and Regal Cinemas announced "social distancing" measures" like reducing the number of seats sold at screenings. The chains also announced "enhanced theater cleaning" of contact surfaces and mandated that any employee who feels ill cannot come to work.
On Sunday, the CDC recommended that all in-person events with 50 people or more should be canceled for the next eight weeks. On March 12, New York placed an indefinite ban on most gatherings of more than 500 people, while California officials called for the cancellation of gatherings with 250 people or more.
Broadway announced it would close its theaters for a month. The Broadway League said performances will resume April 13.
Across the entertainment industry, events, concerts, and film and television productions are canceling dates to contain the spread of coronavirus. SXSW was one of the first to cancel, followed by Tribeca Film Festival, CinemaCon, Coachella, and more. Films like No Time to Die and A Quiet Place Part II will also push back their scheduled release dates, while Disney halted production on all its live-action films in development.