It seems clear that the theatrical film world is going to be a very different place when and if we ever really come out the other side of this nightmare, but a lot of people are very committed to making sure that theatrical film exhibition is a thing that will happen again one day. While we haven't seen a new movie released in theaters since March, and at this point don't expect to see anything major hit until September, Christopher Nolan's Tenet seems quite focused on being the first big release out of the gate, and based on the reaction of the handful of people who have seen it, it will be worth it.
Because of Christopher Nolan's close involvement with the Imax organization, a number of people within Imax have actually seen Tenet, in an Imax theater and everything. Imax CEO Rich Gelfond spoke on a recent company conference call (via Deadline) and stated that not only was Tenet a great film, but it was also a great film to actually see in a real theater again. According to Gelford...
Several people at Imax were involved with Tenet at the post-production phase. Their reaction was, ‘Oh my God – I forgot how great it was to be in a movie.’ Tenet is just a beautifully filmed, beautifully made, wonderful movie. … It wasn’t just one person, at one age. It was a number of Imax employees who spontaneously said that to me.
Christopher Nolan, possibly more than any other modern director, has made his dedication to the theatrical presentation clear. He makes his movies to be seen in theaters first and foremost. It's for that reason that he's become so dedicated to Imax, with his recent films using Imax cameras for greater and greater percentages of filming. You can truly only get the Imax experience in the theater.
Christopher Nolan's passion for theatrical exhibition has led to a specific desire to make Tenet the first big movie to hit theaters once they reopen. Even as the release date has needed to be pushed back again and again, Tenet has always been positioned at the front of the window, which has been part of the reason for the need for the continual rescheduling to begin with. Currently, Tenet is scheduled to open internationally at the end of August, with plans to open in U.S. theaters over the Labor Day weekend.
At this point, we can only hope that the current date holds. A month from now the country could be in a much better place, or it could all be going sideways. If you're one of the people who has forgotten what it's like to see a movie in a theater, maybe seeing Tenet in Imax is just what you've been waiting for, and hopefully, we won't have to wait too much longer.