L.A. Movie Theaters Are Plotting a July Reopening Date—but One Local Cinema Will Be Back Even Sooner

Arena Cinelounge is opening this weekend with a bunch of precautions in place
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As Los Angeles cautiously opens back up for business, the owner of Hollywood’s Arena Cinelounge Sunset has decided to launch a pair of special engagements at the indie/genre art house running June 19 through June 24, Deadline reports.

The reopening will feature a 4K restoration of Philip Kaufman’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being starring Daniel Day-Lewis and Juliette Binoche, plus the debut of director Shannon Murphy’s Babyteeth with Ben Mendelsohn and Eliza Scanlen.

Cinelounge owner Christian Meoli says he’s taking every precaution to keep audiences safe, including installing a new air purification system, disinfecting seats between screenings, socially distancing seating, and offering specially packaged concessions for contactless delivery.

As for those concessions, Meoli has whipped up nine new flavors of gourmet popcorn, which they’ve been selling during the shutdown. “As an independent theater owner, I’ve had to be creative about the survival and expansion of my business,” Meoli told Deadline.

Meanwhile, Regal Cinemas announced Tuesday that it plans to open most of its theaters beginning July 10, with the rest of its 541 U.S. sites opening July 24. While Los Angeles was not specifically named, Governor Gavin Newsom gave the all-clear for California theaters to reopen and multiple sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the theater chain and Hollywood expect L.A. County to approve the July 10 date.

Solstice Studios’ Unhinged and Sony’s The Broken Hearts Gallery are set to be the first two nationwide releases on June 10 after a nearly five-month shuttering of all indoor movie theaters. And these are just a sort of dress rehearsal for the July 24 premieres of giant-budget tentpoles Mulan from Disney and Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi thriller Tenet.

With Regal expecting initial attendance to be down by as much as half of the pre-coronavirus numbers—partly due to distancing rules the chain will employ—it’s hoping to mitigate some of those losses by showing classics such as the Harry Potter movies at just $5 a ticket for adults and $3 for kids.


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