Culture & Society Czech Republic News

Czech Republic among first European countries to reopen cinemas

Prague, Czech Republic – The Czech Republic will become one of the first countries in Europe to reopen cinemas with limited capacity after the government relaxed rules for public gatherings.

Cinemas to reopen in Czech Republic with limited capacity on May 11

Cultural, social and sport events of up to 100 people will be allowed to take place in the Czech Republic starting on May 11, Health Minister Adam Vojtech (ANO) said, as part of the government’s plan to gradually ease anti-coronavirus measures in the coming weeks.

This means that cinemas, but also theatres, concert halls, weddings, church services, among other cultural venues and social gatherings, will be able to re-open their doors as long as the number of participants doesn’t exceed 100 – two weeks ahead of the government’s previous May 25 target.

Group gatherings were previously limited to 10 people maximum.

As of May 11, the Czech Republic will thus become one of the first European countries to re-open its cinemas. They were all forced to shutdown after the state of emergency was declared mid-March over the Covid-19 pandemic. To know where to go first, you can check out our list of the best alternative and artsy cinemas in Prague: they’ll need, more than ever, your support to survive this crisis.

Cinemas also open in Norway and Sweden

Elsewhere in Europe, Norway has also announced that cinemas will be able to reopen a few days earlier, on May 7, with a 50-person capacity per screening.

Similar restrictions have been in place since the start of the crisis in neighbouring Sweden, which is one of the few countries not to have implemented a full lockdown and has allowed cinemas and other social venues to remain open, with some restrictions and social distancing requirements.

A top destination for international movie and TV series productions, the Czech Republic’s film industry has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns introduced all over Europe: film production could drop by 75% this year, according to the Czech Audiovisual Producers’ Association (APA). But  “if Czech backlots can re-open, it would be a welcome sign that the entertainment industry is getting back to work”, writes the Hollywood Reporter.

Although it’s still unsure how soon productions and shootings will truly re-start in the Czech Republic, domestic movie distribution quickly adapted to the new situation with, for instance, drive-in cinemas launched in Prague and elsewhere to allow people to watch movies from the safety of their cars.

The leading film event in Central and Eastern Europe held every year in the Western Bohemian spa city, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival was sadly cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis. Organizers announced they will team up with other major international festivals, like Venice, Cannes or Toronto, to launch “We Are One: A Global Film Festival”, an online-only event curating some of the best films, documentaries and discussions of all the festivals that were cancelled this year.

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