Before the highly anticipated reopening of the theaters after more than one hundred days of fallow film, the cinema operators oscillate between "enthusiasm and anguish", said the chairman of the Federation nationale des cinemas français (FNCF) Richard Patry, for which "the hard part is ahead". He has entrusted his hopes and his fears to the AFP.
What is the state of mind of the operators?
Robert PATRY. - there is a true form of enthusiasm. We had 99 days of closure, the never seen in the history of the exploitation film. This means 15,000 persons in partial unemployment. We can say that almost all of our employees and of the French operators were truly stationary, and stationary for longer than all of the world. The second state of mind, mainly operators, it is a great anguish when the same, not because they are afraid to reopen, but because we clearly know that the hard part is in front of us. One wonders how many will survive in the coming months (...) We know very well, just by the extent of limitation of the gauge, but not only, that we can't have 100% of the revenue. It will be necessary that the rooms are organized to be the most efficient possible to skip this period. It really is the year of all dangers. We hope that there will be a plan to the government for help in re-opening, but also a recovery plan is a lot more structuring.
The establishment of sanitary measures is it easy?
It takes a lot of organization. Fortunately for us, what we had asked, beyond a re-opening date is known in advance, it is to also have a guide to health known in advance. From this point of view, the government has followed our expectations. (...) If we work upstream, if we form properly our employees and that we anticipate to put a little more time in between each session, for example, to manage the flow, it is going well. Our desire, of course, this was to ensure a safety optimum for the spectators, but also not to do too much, for going to the cinema remains a pleasure.
are you not concerned that people have lost the habit of going to the cinema?
Why new habits, kill the old ones? The cinema room offers that no other form of dissemination does not offer, a shared pleasure, a sociability. I am confident that we will rise, because there was no reason that the fun that we have provided the directors with an exceptional year in 2019, and the enjoyment of people who live an emotion all have disappeared with the containment. It is clear that it is going to take time. We are certain that the assiduous will return first and that the casual will be a little longer to come back. But there is nothing that makes us think that we couldn't get our attendance levels in the months to come.
see also - The cinemas are preparing to reopen at 50% of capacity