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DISTRIBUTION / RELEASES / EXHIBITORS Italy

Italian cinemas to re-open from 15 June

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- Following the government’s decision to allow cinemas to re-open in June, venues must now be adapted in line with anti-virus protocols, while emergency fund resources have increased to €245 million

Italian cinemas to re-open from 15 June

The Italian government has spoken: movie theatres will be allowed to re-open from 15 June. It is now a question of bringing cinemas in line with the guidelines of the special Annex to the Decree, which can be modified, expanded or tightened by the various regions. The president of AGIS (the General Association for the Performing Arts in Italy) Carlo Fontana already made known his opinion some days ago following a meeting with the Minister for Culture Dario Franceschini. "Getting the performing arts and movie theatre machine back up and running in a short space of time is a difficult thing to do. The protocols laid down by the Technical-Scientific Committee experts are not compatible with our requirements".

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The safety measures intended to protect against Covid-19 insist upon a maximum of 200 viewers per auditorium and of 1,000 for open-air shows; the measurement of body temperatures of both viewers and employees; the compulsory wearing of masks, respect of physical distancing, proper, regular sanitization of closed spaces and toilet facilities including between the various shows; proper, natural aeration and ventilation; bans on the consumption of food or drinks during shows; signage reminding the public to respect physical distancing measures of at least 1 metre, including at the ticket office; technological solutions for ticket sales and control of access.

The main, unknown quantity in all of this remains the general public - who will have to get used to visiting movie theatres again, without fear of infection - and, naturally, the works that cinemas can offer. For Mario Lorini, president of Anec (Italy’s National Association of Cinema Operators),"we need products, films, and with these products come release times and procedures which require weeks of preparation: we need to understand how the market is moving, both nationally and internationally". The focus is being placed on open-air spaces in order to reconnect with the public. “Outdoor summer events are traditional activities and after the excellent results last summer, we’re looking at widening their scope, whilst clearly respecting the safety measures imposed".

Meanwhile, emergency fund resources for shows, for films and for audiovisual works introduced by the “Cura Italia” Decree have been increased from 130 to 245 million euros. A further 50 million euros are also expected for 2020.

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(Translated from Italian)

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