In a move that will likely be seen as worse than closing to movie theater owners, France has issued a three-week ban on concessions at movie theaters amid the rising COVID-19 cases starting on Monday, January 3rd, according to Deadline. While studios will be glad to see that theaters remain open, theater owners are likely to see this as getting kicked when they are down. Most theaters make almost all of their revenue from concessions and nearly nothing from ticket sales. That is why, if you're ever unhappy at a movie theater, they are so much more likely to give you a free ticket to a movie than a free popcorn.
According to the Deadline report, France posted 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 on the 25th alone. This new variant is highly contagious, and many people worldwide got very complacent in recent months with vaccinations, and the Omicron variant really knocked us all on our asses. Right now, the best we can hope for is that this variant is going to hit us all hard and then even out pretty quick. However, stopping the spiking numbers so it makes sense that France and other places across the world impacted by the variant are taking measures to try and stop the spread as we head into year three of this pandemic.
There don't appear to be capacity restrictions to go along with the concessions ban, but indoor public gatherings have been limited to 2000 people, while outdoor gatherings have a cap of 5000. Right now, a "health pass" is needed to attend a movie in France though the option of presenting a negative test is available now but might not last much longer. It's currently unclear whether or not the United States will be implementing any restrictions with our own spiking case numbers. Please, if you can, get vaccinated and get your booster shot if that is an option for you. We get these shots to protect the people in our society that can't get vaccinated for health reasons. Let's try to all take care of each other by masking up, getting our shots, social distancing when possible, so we can all keep enjoying the movies and other activities without putting anyone in danger this holiday season.