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Will movie theaters bounce back? Industry expert shares outlook as local cinemas stay closed |

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Will movie theaters bounce back? Industry expert shares outlook as local cinemas stay closed

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As Las Vegas starts its reopening process after COVID-19 closures, some believe movie theaters might take some extra time to bounce back. 

Las Vegans who spoke to 8 News Now about their desire for the theater gave a mixed reaction. 

“It’s an American pastime,” resident Sarah said. 

“I would avoid it,” Peter Servano countered. 

Though Gov. Steve Sisolak gave many places, including bars, casinos and gyms, the okay to welcome guests back during Phase 2, many theaters in the Valley are holding off. 

“I think at first, people will be reticent to go back,” Comscore Senior Media Analyst Paul Dergarabedian said, “and that’s normal.”

We reached out to multiple local theaters, and many said they don’t yet have set dates to reopen. 

Eclipse Theaters downtown sent this statement regarding its plans: 

Galaxy Theaters also responded to our inquiry, saying its Las Vegas locations are not set to reopen right now, but they “look forward to being able to reopen and provide a safe and fun environment for the community.”

Dergarabedian said even when big screens do come back, they will have to focus on specific amenities that aren’t available on the couch at home. 

“Movie theaters, they are really good at the hospitality end of things,” he explained. “Now, it is going to be about safety, health, security and hygiene.”

A recent Variety survey showed 70% of the US population now prefers to catch flicks at home, with just 13% preferring a theater experience. 

Comscore also reported a 60% box office decline in March, compared to the same time last year. 

“The bigger budget films are going to require a theatrical release,” Dergarabedian said. 

However, even if the current outlook seems grim, Dergarabedian believes the cinema will continue to hold its own in Las Vegas and all around the world.

“I think we’ll see over time people really returning to the movie theaters,” he concluded.

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