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Shanghai becomes first big city to reopen cinemas in China

China is set to reopen more than 200 cinemas in Shanghai after a two month blackout due to the spread of Covid-19.

Shanghai is the first tier-one metropolis to kick start movie-going again, but will still require audiences to have their body temperature tested before entering.

The country’s more than 70,000 movie theatres closed in January due to the virus, but is now expected to have between 700 and 800 cinemas up and running by Saturday.

The latest reopenings add to last week’s announcement that 500 venues opened their doors again, primarily in remote and costal regions where new cases of the virus had not been reported for more than a month.

China is ahead of the curve having faced the coronavirus outbreak much earlier than most countries, with cinemas being closed since January 24.

“To lower the risk of infection, cinemas should strictly implement epidemic prevention measures, and audiences are required to have their body temperature tested and present their health codes at entrance and wear masks during the show time,” Yin Xin, spokeswoman for the Shanghai municipal government, according to the state-backed news service Xinhua.

Cinemas will also be required to leave an empty seat between patrons in every direction.

In a move designed to encourage people back to theatres, regional Shanghai government authorities have announced a discount offer, which kicks off on April 26. Users of Alibaba’s Tiapiaopiao ticketing platform in the Shanghai region will be offered a discount of RMB 10 ($1.40) per ticket on purchases of up to four tickets per user.

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