Opening theaters reveals threat to public health


Mikaela Ramirez

Staff Writer Mikaela Ramirez sits in three contrasting positions in the comfort of her own home to enjoy entertainment – quite possibly at its finest.

For several generations, the art of film has been a large part of storytelling that appeals to both the people and the creators. In turn, many films such as Parasite,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “21 Bridges,and countless more were created for others to enjoy.

             The movie theatres that premiere these films were a great spot for others to have a good time with friends and family. However, with the persisting presence of COVID-19, such outings have become very difficult because of the many restrictions in place for public gatherings. 

 Although these restrictions have lessened and businesses have started to reopen, safety regulations for reopening public spaces have strengthened in order to slow the spread while still allowing people to meet in-person.

However, heightened safety measures do not completely diminish the risk. Until the risk diminishes considerably, moviegoers must turn to streaming services and nearby drive-in theatres as a safer alternative.

Services such as Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and Amazon Prime have specific computer extensions for hosting digital movie nights with friends as long as they have the designated subscriptions.

For those who do not have paid subscriptions to these services, Zoom, Scener, Discord, and other conferencing apps are available as well. Though they may not be the best, Discord and Scener have improved their streaming features for a much smoother and clear quality of movies shared on the screen.

  Although the feel at home might not be the same as watching from inside classic movie theaters, one can still enjoy their favorite movies in the company of others all the while staying safe.

Going to an actual movie theater at this time would be very risky. From the butter on your hands to the dirt and junk discarded on the floor, cinemas seem like the perfect breeding ground for the virus.

As a standard for every public space, AMC theatres require moviegoers to wear masks upon arrival. Nevertheless, this rule does not apply if the person is eating food or toward concession sales inside the auditorium.

Though seating will be limited and socially distanced, there is no guarantee that all attendees will wear masks throughout the movie, which increases the risk of contracting Covid-19.

AMC officials also state on its website that all auditoriums and “common areas and high touch points are routinely cleaned and sanitized. In auditoriums, hard surfaces, including doors, handrails, recliner buttons, and tray tables will be disinfected before each showtime.”

Again, there is no guarantee that there will be enough employees to deep clean each auditorium in a short period of time.

Of course, many good memories have been made watching movies in theaters, but it is not worth risking the lives of others. The safer we are, the faster we will return to those Saturday nights with friends and family at the movies. 

So for now, hold off on seeing those new releases on the big screen. Even though the wait may seem long, it will be worth it when the risk of infection is much lower.