What’s on, what’s not

COVID-19 still playing havoc with schedules

Exclusive to MeierMovies, July 25, 2020

Listening to news about coronavirus cancellations and reschedulings is the surest way to get dizzy. Just when you think your favorite cinema is about to reopen or your local film festival is ready to proceed, you find out otherwise. Here’s a brief recap of what’s on and what’s not, as of July 25 at 11:08 a.m. and 12 seconds, Eastern time.

AMC Cinemas and Regal, the two largest chains in the United States, have chosen to delay their opening dates again, likely to late August. See SyFy.com for more information. These decisions are fueled partially by the indefinite delay of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, which was supposed to be the summer season’s tent pole. Though Disney’s Mulan is still slated for August 21 – as is Tesla, directed by Michael Almereyda and starring Ethan Hawke – there’s just not much for big chains to hang their financial hats on right now.

Still, some estimates claim that about one-fifth of cinemas in the nation are currently open. However, almost all are in rural areas and operating at limited capacity. Overseas markets are a bit luckier, with about a third of AMC locations open in Europe and the Middle East.

Back here in America, Cinemark, the nation’s #3 chain, is taking a slightly bolder path than AMC and Regal. Some locations are open, including the one at Universal CityWalk in my home city of Orlando, Florida, but it’s showing classic films, not new releases. (Almost all of the theaters currently operating in the Sunshine State are non-traditional venues, such as small art houses, dine-in auditoriums or drive-ins.)

One such venue is the Enzian Theater in Maitland, Florida, and next month the cinema plans the first major in-person festival in the Southeast United States since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’ll be covering that festival here, and also at OrlandoWeekly.com. It runs August 7-20.

For a list of all film festivals still occurring in 2020, check out this Yahoo.com article from July 22, which, if recent trends are any guide, is already out of date. Oh, well, stream on.

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Image courtesy iStockPhoto (#173573801, by KLH49)