COVID Crisis Cracks Cinemas

As COVID-19 spread rapidly throughout the United States, many businesses were forced to shut down, resulting in massive loss of revenue. However, not many suffered a bigger impact than the movie theater industry


Grant Peters

The Marcus Cinema building located on First Capitol was forced to shut down earlier this year as a result of COVID-19

by Grant Peters, Sports Editor

One of the most popular forms of entertainment is also one of the most profitable: the film industry. However as of recently, movie theaters have become a desolate and empty shell of what used to be a common excursion for all ages. This is a result of the global pandemic, COVID-19, which has been running rampant throughout the United States for the past seven months. This pandemic has caused widespread unemployment, and the movie theater industry has especially had a lot of people lose their jobs. Before the theaters shut down, senior Ashton Winning was afraid to go into work due to COVID-19.

“It was scary for sure. I had to worry about bringing it home to my family,” Winning said. “Less people were coming into work. Overall it was just really chaotic and something you didn’t prepare for. Then we shut down, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do because at that point, I was unemployed.” 

While the majority of the rest of the world has started to somewhat get back to normal, the United States still has a long way to go. As countries begin to have fewer cases, more movie theaters are opening back up. A story posted by Sarah Whitten on showed that of the 12,400 movie theaters in the world that are currently open, more than 90 percent of them are located outside of the United States. Obviously, there are not many theaters open in our country, leading to many former employees scrambling to find new jobs. Senior Peyton Melton faced difficulties as he realized he wasn’t going to return to a movie theater for quite some time once COVID-19 struck. 

“That place was my first job. Getting a job there was fairly easy because I didn’t have a pandemic in my way,” Melton frustratingly described. “Once the theater shut down, I didn’t know where to go or what to do. Everybody was looking for somewhere to go. When you’re a part of a large group not knowing where any of you are going, it’s hard to find traction.”

When someone refers to “the film industry” that isn’t just a reference to the process of the movies being made. That’s adding in the movie theaters and the profit that they bring in. Amy Watson posted a piece of information on that shows the global film industry lost around $7 billion in revenue as a result of COVID-19. Reactions to this number can be shocking, as this was recorded in June, a total of three months ago. Another reaction that came as a result of the theaters being shut down came from junior Jillian Vaughn, who realized what was happening as the virus forced a shutdown of her former job. 

“It was crazy. I remember getting a text from my boss telling me that we were getting shut down for the time being. I was honestly shocked,” Vaughn said. “I think we all knew it was coming, but when it happened it was still crazy to realize that this virus is causing our favorite activities to be stripped away from us. It was a surreal moment when I took a second to realize that my job was no longer going to be operating for the foreseeable future.”

As the coronavirus continues to surge throughout the 50 states, life has slowly started to creep its way back to as normal as the pandemic allows us to. Kids are going back to school, business are re-opened and movie theaters are starting to open back up. However, it sadly seems as though we’re a long way until we can all go into a movie theater and watch a movie without having to worry about catching a deadly virus.