Movie theater industry implements COVID-safe practices in hopes of reopening in NM | KOB 4

Movie theater industry implements COVID-safe practices in hopes of reopening in NM

Ryan Laughlin
Updated: September 16, 2020 06:09 PM
Created: September 16, 2020 03:25 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A group representing movie theater owners says it's come up with ways to protect customers from COVID-19.

John Fithian, CEO of the National Association of Theater Owners, said he understands why theaters were forced to shut down, but he believes it's time to reopen. 


"The governor has done a great job in combating the pandemic in New Mexico," he said. "And I think she and her whole team can be proud of what they've done."

New Mexico still restricts indoor movie theaters from reopening, but Fithian said other states have loosened restrictions.

"In the United States we've been playing new movies for three or four weeks in cinemas across the country," he said. "And we asked our epidemiologist to review all the medical literature and all the history, and there's not a single case of transmission having been reported in medical literature from a movie theater." 

Fithian claims new safety measures make movie theaters safer than restaurants and places of worship.

"You can buy tickets for your family, or your group sitting together. And then what our algorithms do is block all the seats around you, to mathematically ensure social distancing in the auditorium," Fithian said.

He's optimistic the COVID-safe practices will help the industry back back. 

"The reason for that is that people just want to get out of their homes and experience a shared story on the big screen," he said.

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