Movie theaters further delay reopening

CINEMA: The Regal Guam Megaplex theaters in Tamuning are pictured on June 16. Guam's movie theaters have delayed their reopening from July to August. David Castro/The Guam Daily Post

Guam's movie theaters are pushing back once again their reopening to the middle of August, after a delay in a number of summer blockbusters' release dates because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Movie theaters at Guam Premier Outlets in Tamuning, Micronesia Mall in Dededo and Agana Shopping Center in Hagåtña were supposed to reopen today.

"The movies that were supposed to come out in July were removed from the calendar. That leaves us with no new movies to show at this time," Kit Lanuza, general manager of Tango Theaters at Micronesia Mall and Agana Shopping Center, said on Wednesday.

The new reopening date is around mid-August but that is subject to movie availability, he said.

"Until there are movies that's supplied to us by major studios, like Disney, Warner, Paramount, Universal and Sony, we wouldn't be able to reopen," Lanuza said. "But we are ready to open at any time."

Health and safety protocols are in place to make the moviegoing experience as safe as possible in the midst of COVID-19, he said.

No Tango Theaters employee was laid off, he said. Employees did get furloughed.

"We expect them to come back and they're willing to come back," Lanuza said.

The opening date of Disney's live-action "Mulan" was moved to Aug. 21, while Warner Bros. delayed once again the release date of "Wonder Woman 1984" from Aug. 14 to Oct. 2.

Wes Anderson's "The French Dispatch" was moved to Oct. 16. The latest James Bond installment, "No Time to Die," has been moved to Nov. 20. "Top Gun Maverick" was delayed into 2021, while spy film "Tenet" was delayed indefinitely.

J.N. Milan, manager of Regal Guam Megaplex at GPO, on Wednesday said his organization is looking at a new reopening date of Aug. 21.

"That's coming down from our corporate office," he said.

In an announcement, Regal said its reopening plans include a wide range of new health and safety measures based on guidelines provided from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

These include contactless payment, the use of ultra-low-volume foggers for deep sanitization, floor markers for social distancing, and mandatory wearing of masks.

This is the second time that Guam's movie theaters postponed reopening their doors since early July, although Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero allowed movie theaters to reopen starting June 15.

Haidee Eugenio Gilbert

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