People watch a movie at the Capital Cinema (Xidan branch) in Beijing, capital of China, July 24, 2020. (Xinhua/Peng Ziyang)
BEIJING, July 24 (Xinhua) — With much excitement, Mai Xin entered an IMAX cinema hall in downtown Beijing at noon on Friday to watch a foreign film.
“I am very excited. It is the first time that I watch a movie in a cinema this year,” said Mai, wearing a mask and having his body temperature taken before entering the cinema.
Cinemas in the Chinese capital city resumed operations on Friday, with 39 domestic and foreign films on show on the first day after months-long closure amid the COVID-19 epidemic.
All 262 cinemas in Beijing were closed from late January due to the epidemic.
A man gets film ticket at the UME Cinema (Huaxing branch) in Beijing, capital of China, July 24, 2020. (Xinhua/Ren Chao)
Amid a series of epidemic prevention measures, cinemas now limit their attendance per show to 30 percent capacity and sell non-adjacent tickets, while the number of shows has been cut by half, with intervals of at least 30 minutes between shows.
On Monday, Beijing lowered its COVID-19 emergency response from level II to III after having reported no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 for 14 consecutive days.
Tickets to many shows at several cinemas on Friday were sold out immediately after being available for reservations, with cinemas offering big discounts to attract moviegoers.
“There are few tickets left and this is far beyond our expectations,” said Li Ji, general manager of Wanda Film’s Beijing division.
As the epidemic wanes further, more people are expected to go to the cinema with more domestic and foreign films announcing their release schedules in the coming two months, said cinema staff workers. ■