Coronavirus: Sitting Apart From Dear Ones Could Become the New Norm at Movie Theaters in Singapore

  • Cinemas could impose mandatory temperature screening and seat gaps with 1-meter of safe distance when they reopen

  • Contactless payment will be encouraged to minimize risk of transmission

Entertainment venues across Singapore said they are closely working with authorities to implement safety measures when they are permitted to reopen. Sitting apart from friends or family when you go to the cinema, getting your temperature checked while entering clubs or movie theaters, could become a new norm. Based on other countries that are swiftly reopening, this could be "business as unusual".

General Manager of The Projector, which is the only commercial cinema art house in Singapore, Prashant Somosundram said they are closely observing the global situation about clear communication for consumer experience. This will help them in managing the customers' expectations.

Infocomm Media Development Authority is also working to develop operating protocols that will be implemented when they get a green signal to reopen. Shaw Theatres, which has nine cinemas under its banner is working on similar measures. These operators have been sanitizing their venues during the circuit breaker period.

Cinemas will offer pre-order concessions

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Cinemas were forced to shutdown on March 28 in Singapore in an effort to maintain social distancing precautionary measures. Along with reduced capacity and temperature check, seat gaps with one-meter distance will be made mandatory. Individuals with a temperature above 37.5 degrees Celcius will not be permitted to enter a movie theater and will get a refund at Golden Village which runs 14 cinemas.

Somosundram informed they are also working on to offer concessions on pre-ordering and enforcing contactless payment to minimize the risk of transmission between customers and staff. Video-on-demand films are being offered at around $10 for a 24-hour streaming period by The Projector to maintain the engagement of its customers.

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Zouk, Marquee Singapore, and Ce La Vi nightclubs have been putting free live streams of spinning sets from DJ's residents. As per The Straits Times report, when night clubs were linked to super-spreader of coronavirus in Seoul, more than 2,100 of them were enforced to close as more than 110 new cases arrived within few days of reopening.

No big party after June 1

However, Singapore Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, in a virtual press conference on Saturday said it is still a tight situation where they continue to impose most of the circuit breaker measures.

"I have to say that we are not going to have a big party after June 1," he added. In an effort to restart the economy, the government has allowed more people to return to work and more activities to resume.