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Fans snap up tickets as cinemas open doors

China Daily | Updated: 2020-08-01 16:54

Movie theaters were partially reopened recently as the threat from coronavirus receded in China's capital.

In parts of the city deemed at low risk of cross-infection, cinemas began admitting moviegoers under social distancing rules. Tickets must be booked in advance, attendance is capped at 30 percent of capacity and no eating or drinking is allowed during the show.

As with most venues in China, a temperature check and online travel record are required for entry. Cinemas had been closed for around six months but began reopening last week in major cities throughout the country.

Tickets at Poly International Cinema's branch near Tiananmen Square were sold out last week, with the marquee boasting the comedy Dolittle and superhero attraction Bloodshot.

China's domestic movie industry has also been generating major ticket sales while audiences have warmed to features from India and other foreign countries.

Movie poster designer Liu Jingyu managed to grab tickets for both Hollywood films at the Poly cinema, rekindling his hopes after his earnings dried up over the past half-year.

"For those of us who make a living on movies and who are movie enthusiasts, without movies our life is full of pain," Liu said.

Many Chinese are enthusiastic cinemagoers and the country was expected to surpass the United States in 2020 as the world's biggest box office before the pandemic hit.

Li Xu, manager of the Poly cinema branch, said he is looking forward to the October National Day holiday, when he expects the movie market to return to normal.

The weeklong vacation is typically a busy time for ticket sales, with Chinese cinemas generating a record 5 billion yuan ($708 million) from Sept 30 to Oct 7 in 2019.


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