“Meet Me at the Movies”

By: Brendan Rodenberg

Moviegoers, rejoice! Movie theaters and film festivals are finally reopening for red carpet premieres, date nights, and daily screenings of our favorite films.

The development of the COVID-19 vaccine and the reopening of most areas could not have come at a better time. Due to both the pandemic, there was a monumental rise in streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Brick-and-mortar movie houses took a tremendous hit in 2020.  Not only did the total global box office revenue drop approximately 72 percent, most theaters were hit even harder with the closure of independent cinemas closing their doors entirely and even harder.

Fortunately, as of May 2021, most movie theater chains – including big names such as Cinemark and Regal – have reopened to the public with new and long-awaited fare for their movie going audience. “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which was one of the first to reenter cinemas, grossed over $96 million despite being available in roughly only 3000 theaters.   “A Quiet Place Part II” has already raked in over $50 million since its release. It would seem that the public missed the theater experience as much as the industry misses its customers. 

Film festivals like Cannes and Sundance, are also reopening in person viewings.  A press release from the 2022 Sundance Film Festival stated, “We can’t wait to return to Park City, Salt Lake City, and beyond. We are in the process of designing a safe and accessible festival where our audiences and artists can come together to celebrate and discover new work, and each other.”

For those of us with movie mania, searching for their next film fix, websites such as “Screendaily” offers constantly updated lists of film festivals expected to proceed as planned – as well as a list of countries that have allowed theaters to reopen for public use (and the limits each country has put in place).  As a moviegoer, I am very excited to attend premieres of both the latest Hollywood blockbusters and film festivals together with fellow cinema supporters once again!