“Mulan.” “Tenet.” “The French Dispatch.” What do all these movies have in common? They all had to delay their release because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many industries have been impacted by the pandemic. The majority of them will be able to bounce back to business as usual once everything is said and done, but what about the ones that rely on people coming in close contact with each other? More or less, movies and TV shows are filmed in very close proximity and there are a lot of people on set. When the virus hit, it was clear that filming had to be put on pause to ensure everyone involved would be safe. Many movies decided it would be best to delay their premiere or to only have their premiere online.
Obviously, it would not be safe to have a red carpet movie premier during a pandemic. What about the normal viewings of movies? When the virus first landed in the United States, it was obvious that business as usual was going to be put on halt for the time being. After almost six months, movie theaters are starting to open again.
When Habersham Hills Cinema reopened, I was ecstatic. In my first year at Piedmont, I found myself going to the theater to watch movies like “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” or “1917” whenever I had the time. So, on Aug. 30, my boyfriend and I went to watch “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” I felt more than safe going to rewatch the first movie of one of my favorite franchises. The theater requests that patrons buy their tickets in advance in order to avoid large crowds in line, every other row is open, you are required to leave a few seats between people not in your party and masks are required throughout the experience. If movie theaters are taking all the right precautions and enforcing patrons to do the same, I believe that people should start going out and enjoying theaters again, if they feel safe enough to go.
Certain TV shows were able to work around the pandemic. “Parks and Recreation,” a show that ended five years ago, decided that now is the time to have a reunion to raise money for Feeding America during the pandemic. The original cast of the show came together virtually to put on a show for “Parks and Recreation” lovers as well as casual viewers of the show.
I remember sitting at my dinner table on April 30 and feeling excited to see what the cast came up with for this quarantine episode. Only a month into the pandemic and shows adapting to this new normal? I was excited and curious. I never watched the show, but I felt a sense of pride watching the show, that officially ended five years ago, adapt how they film so that their fans can get comfort from one of their favorite shows in such a confusing time.
Even if these industries are able to recover, what if the pandemic never ends? There are different scenarios about the future of the world after COVID. People will, hopefully, continue washing their hands and cleaning more regularly. From a personal standpoint, I will not feel as comfortable being so close to people, especially strangers. It is predicted that the virus will eventually become like the flu, we have to get the vaccine shot every year to prevent us from catching the virus. If that is what to come for us, how will Hollywood deal with it?