Movie theaters across Los Angeles and Orange Counties remain closed, while other parts of Southern California begin reopening their facilities. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore, tells Inside the Issues the closures, which began in mid-March, have taken an economic toll on the industry.

“When [social distancing] protocols were put in place, that changed everything because naturally movie theaters are a communal environment by their nature. They’re communal and immersive. Those two things make the movie theater the best way to see a movie,” he said.

Most theaters closed their doors in the middle of March, and don’t expect to open until the middle of July. According to Dergarabedian, theaters would currently be in the biggest movie-going season if it weren’t for the closures. 

He says this may push release dates into 2021 if consumers are not comfortable visiting theaters right away.

“It's going to be about instilling consumer confidence for people when they walk into that theater they want to feel safe and secure but without it feeling like you're walking into a danger zone,” he said. 

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