Corona Chronicles: Grim News for Hollywood–Movie Theaters Are Phase 3 in Reopening Business

Californians should not expect to see a movie on the big screen in the next several months.

California Governor Gavin Newsom clarified how the state plans to reopen its nonessential businesses, with movie theaters fall into a category that will take “months” to reopen.

During his daily update, live-streamed on Facebook and Twitter, the governor unveiled four “stages” that businesses will each fall into.

The first stage, which he said the state currently falls into, allows only essential businesses to stay open and is a period when the state only plans further business reinstatement.

The second stage, which Newsom said is “weeks, not months” away, will see “lower-risk” workplaces like nonessential manufacturing, logistics and retail jobs and offices that cannot work from home begin to reopen. Schools and childcare facilities and public spaces like parks and trails can also start reopening in “phase two.”

“Phase three” will see higher-risk workplaces like movie theaters, gyms, hair salons, nail salons, in-person religious services and sports without live audiences reopen. Newsom emphasized that the third stage is “months, not weeks” away.

The final and fourth phase will be the reopening of concert venues, conventions, sports stadiums and larger entertainment venues, which he will take long time.

Newsom said that the state was considering opening schools as early as July or August to make up for lost in-class time. “We recognize there’s been a learning loss because of this disruption. And so we are considering the prospect of an even earlier school year into the fall, as early as late July and early August,” Newsom said, adding that schools would have to make major modifications to the class environment before that could happen.

When California reaches its second stage of business reinstatement, local health departments will relax stricter local orders, California Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell said during a presentation on Tuesday’s live stream. She emphasized that “community surveillance” will be critical in allowing regional departments to vary their recommendations statewide.

While California’s caseload overall is stabilizing, Tuesday saw 54 deaths, up from Monday’s tally of 45.  There were 1,576 new positive cases (up from Monday’s 1,300); increase in hospitalization of 2.5 percent (up from Monday’s 1.4 percent); and ICU figures slightly down from Monday’s. 

Currently, the studios hope that theaters will open by July 17 in time for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, followed by Mulan on July 24, and Wonder Woman 1984 in late August.