Texas, the only state in the nation that feels like a country of its own, got the okay to relaunch theater entertainment starting on Friday.
Gov. Greg Abbott announced that movie theaters can unlock their doors to the public and start making popcorn again. This rule also extends to restaurants, retail stores, and museums.
Even though the box-office might be open, there is still a rule in place that businesses can only operate at a 25% capacity, that’s hardly worth it to retailers.
What’s more, larger theater venues are probably not going to take advantage of the pseudo all-clear because no major studio is putting anything out right now. Major movie chains also seem committed to keeping their screens dark until July.
“This is permission to open, not a requirement,” Gov. Abbott said.
With major studios deciding to leap-frog a theatrical setting and go straight to VOD, the draw of risking one’s health in the outside world may seem too early for most patrons who can distance themselves on the couch.
Furthermore, profits from advanced streaming first-run movies have proven to be strong.
Universal’s Trolls World Tour was supposed to kick off the blockbuster season in the realm of a packed auditorium but has already raked in $100 million just in streaming sales, a figure it may have taken five months to attain in the outside world.
The power of bandwidth is also getting a boost from subscription services such as Amazon, Shudder and Disney+ which are making content available sooner than the normal cooling-off period.
This phase of the Texas clause does not allow barber shops, hair salons, bars and gyms to reopen, but Abbot is expecting they will get the go-ahead by mid-May.