California Governor Gavin Newsom announced new reopening guidelines for every business and facility in the state, including movie theaters. Dubbed the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy,” the guidelines implement a color-coded system in each of the state’s 58 counties designating how strict operating procedures must be. Unfortunately, 38 of those counties are coded “purple” or “Widespread” risk, meaning indoor movie theaters must remain closed until both the number of daily new COVID cases and the percentage of positive tests go down.
A few counties, notably San Francisco and San Diego, are allowed to reopen indoor theaters with proper modifications in place and less than 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less. In order to move to a less restrictive tier, a county must remain in its current tier for at least three weeks before being reassessed to see if it meets the guidelines for the next tier. It’s kind of dense, but the website is intuitive enough to find out exactly what the safety guidelines are in your county by entering your zip code. The website also features a comprehensive list of guidelines for virtually every type of business (not just movie theaters), so it’s good information whether you are a business owner or simply just want to know what kind of measures should be in place at your local grocery store.
One look at the map and you can see that movie theaters aren’t going to be reopening en masse anytime soon in California. Which is a bummer, but so is a global pandemic, so all we can do is be safe and wait for the virus to get under control. If you’re looking for a new movie to watch at home, check out our review of Bill & Ted Face the Music, which is currently available on social isolation-friendly VOD.