The hardest part of the global quarantine, from a strictly entertainment point of view, is that it takes away our first choice for distraction in times of stress. Personally, the movies are an escape when things get difficult, and I anticipate a trip to my local theater more than anything, giving me a light at the end of most tunnels because at least I know a movie is in my future.
We will soon be back to a normal routine when it comes to our movie-going habits, as society flattens the curve and figures out a way to return to the way things were prior to the coronavirus outbreak. But in the short term, we have learned that there’s even a way you can support your local, beloved movie theater during a time of closure: Buy gift cards.
The thing about movie theaters is that there’s no way, at the moment, for them to adjust their business model to still fit the needs of customers. Across the nation, restaurants (for example) are figuring out ways to convert to take-out service to maintain a portion of their revenue. Movie theaters, however, need customers to come to them, while also needing first-run movies to be able to show. That equation isn’t possible right now, but Phil Contrino, the Director of Media and Research for the National Association of Theater Owners, recently told our ReelBlend podcast how film fans can show support for theaters, while also planning for future nights at the cinema:
Investing in the future of your local movie theater is important right now. Even something as simple as voicing your support for the theater-going experience on social media can make a difference. To that end, Phil Contrino of NATO also elaborated on a marketing initiative supported by movie theater companies, and the moviemaking industry:
Listen to our full conversation with Phil Contrino of NATO about the current state of movie theaters, and what he predicts for the future of the industry.
There’s good news for theaters on the horizon. According to a release by NATO, they were included in the government stimulus package recently announced to aid businesses that were forced to close, which will allow chains and small businesses the chance to pay employees who are out of work due to the coronavirus restrictions.
We will continue to maintain the progress of theaters during this global crisis.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.