What Happens if Coronavirus Forces U.S. Movie Theaters to Close?

March 4, 2020Media Mention

Theater owners argue that the movie business has survived for decades, enduring new challenges from “peak TV” and streaming, because it offers up a communal experience. Nothing, they maintain, beats watching a comic-book epic or a suspense thriller in a darkened room full of fellow movie fans.

But the same qualities that have helped the film industry withstand a shifting media landscape may have audiences steering clear of multiplexes during a public health crisis. There is a chance that theaters in the United States could close if coronavirus continues to spread and the death count and infection rate keep rising.

“The last thing people are going to want to do is sit in a theater with a bunch of coughing people,” said Schuyler Moore, an entertainment industry lawyer with Greenberg Glusker. “That’s just not going to happen.”