By Gavin Gibbon
Dubai Mall facility has received more than 300 bookings since lockdown restrictions were lifted
Reel Cinemas in Emaar’s Dubai Mall has received over 300 bookings since Wednesday, when movie theatres were allowed to reopen for the first time in almost two months after strict lockdown measures were eased by the government.
As per the guidelines, the cinema is operating at 30 percent seating capacity and using just 40 percent of screens at the popular facility.
A spokesperson told Arabian Business: “Over the past month, we did a consumer survey. We found that people are excited about the reopening of entertainment attractions, especially movie theatres as cinema ranked first among the favourite entertainment venues after the Covid-19 shutdowns.
“Seeing that we had only announced the Reel Cinemas reopening the day before, we have received over 300 bookings which, given the situation, can only be considered a good start.”
The reopening was ordered alongside stringent health and safety criteria, including mandatory temperature checks, sanitisations after shows and reduced frequency of shows.
Additionally, social distancing guidelines for cinemas mean that two seats are to be allocated for customers and two seats left empty in each row horizontally, with aisles to be considered as empty seats. Every alternate row is also kept empty ‘vertically’.
The spokesperson admitted that the next two months will be “challenging” for movie theatres in general due to the lack of new releases worldwide.
“This situation calls for a sound judgement when it comes to creating new concepts and keeping it interesting for moviegoers. We are discussing some ideas internally and with the studios based on previous successful themed screening events that we have had in our Jebel Ali location,” they said.
However, the company is hoping for a “significant boost” in turnover by the end of July with the release of Disney’s Mulan, and the beginning of August with Wonder Woman 2.