• The Crestiad

Movie industry negatively affected by COVID-19

Several Charlotte-area movie theaters are now open since Oct. 2, 2020, as North Carolina enters Phase 3 easing coronavirus-related restrictions. 

Photo by Collin Miller.

Katherine Hood


The movie film industry has seen theaters close and film production slowed due to COVID-19.

Through the hard times brought about by the new protocols, many businesses had to shut their doors for the public’s health and safety. One of many businesses that are having the most impact, simply because it is indoors with close confined space that can help further the spread of this disease, are movie theaters.

“Lot of movie theaters are offering packages for families or parties,” Marc Bonnani, professor at Cedar Crest College, who teaches English at Lehigh Career and Technical Institute and English and Sociology at LCCC remarked. “I am not sure if it was AMC or not but, you could rent out the theater to have a party or your family go to see the movie. I think that’s one-way movie theaters are making money currently but other than that, I think streaming is going to be the giant here.”

The film industry had to make many changes to make sure everyone stays healthy and safe during the pandemic. Implementing changes for filming a movie is necessary for the safety of the actors and crew members.

“As a COVID team member, we test the entire crew and every zone,” Dean Galanis, Locations Manager, and COVID team member said. “There are three zones: the A, B, and C zones. A zones get tested every workday, B zones get tested three times a week, and C zones get tested one time a week. It also depends on how much exposure each person has with other crew members.”

During this time, many challenges arise while filming a movie by keeping a safe distance away from a person and wearing a mask to keep others on the set safe.

“It changes the content. You are going to see a lot fewer love scenes, scenes of actors kissing each other, and there are going to be fewer scenes of background actors because we can’t have that many people on the footprint,” Matthew Myers, film and television producer, currently employed by Netflix and Amazon stated. “The safety footprint in New Mexico, where we are currently shooting, is about 25% maximum occupancy per building.”

Throughout all the COVID testing and new ways to make sure everyone is safe, there are opportunities theater companies can take to help them still stay in business.

“Theaters have to cater to how the audience consumes the message and the only way they are going to do that is to make it like a streaming service; give the customers the option or options,” Bonanni said.

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