|courtesy of on.cc
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet Ngor yesterday announced that in the latest effort against the pandemic all entertainment venue would suspend operation for two weeks, they included cinemas. The restriction would begin at 6PM today. The theater industry including the Hong Kong Theatres Association all expressed their support, would fully coordinate with the government restriction, fight the pandemic with the entire city and work hard toward returning to a healthy Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Theatres Association issued a statement after the announcement, "Since the outbreak began, the theater industry has been severely impacted. Cinemas has been paying a lot of attention on the audience's health and released the following procedures like 'isolation/alternate seating ticket', delaying the opening and moving up the closing time for cleaning and disinfecting of the entire cinema, requiring viewers to wear masks and taking their temperature as they entered in hopes to strengthening viewer confidence about going to the movies. The cinema environment was even safer than anywhere else, the risk of infecting was not high. Because viewers purchased tickets online, they could pick up tickets without any contact. Inside viewers could wear masks and enjoyed ample viewing space. Despite during the outbreak the box office still reached new lows, the theater industry still persisted in continuing operation in hopes of preserving employee's employment opportunity. However, due to the worsening situation, in hopes of reducing the temptation of going outside and coordinating with the government ordered stronger restriction order cinemas would work with the government and temporarily close for 14 days. The cinema industry hopes to successfully win the fight against the pandemic with Hong Kong and continue to provide quality viewing experience to the audience."
Cinema City circuit boss Raymond Wong Pak Ming's 5 cinemas before suspending operation at 6PM would still run movies as scheduled. However the April 1st release of the 4K restored THE BRIDE WITH WHITE HAIR and the April 8th release of the 4K restored THE PHANTOM LOVER in memory of Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing would be rescheduled after the reopening of cinemas.
Golden Scene film company responded, "We very strongly agree with the cinema temporary closing. Because the current box office has been very low but employees still had to go to work as usual, both viewers and employees would have risks. As for films that we have scheduled, we would wait until the reopening of cinemas to release them. We would have no problem. As the entire city unites to fight the pandemic, health is the most important!"
The film LOST AND FOUND IN TOKYO (SHOOK NUI OI MAN YAU) originally was scheduled for an April 2nd release, which now has been halted. Star Michelle Wai Sze Nga said, "I feel it is a good thing, being safe is more important than the release date. I personally agree and support this method. My promotions have already been done in advance anyway, now I can only post online to promote. With how severe the pandemic is, staying at home is the safest."