Are Movie Theatres a Soon-To-Be Lost Cause?


Seamus Murphy, Copy Editor

I regret that the last movie I saw in theaters before quarantine was Sonic the Hedgehog.


In March of last year — a month before the closing of New Jersey public schools — early measures ordering the closures of “all movie theaters, casinos, and gyms” were taken, as reported by at the time. Much like with schooling, movie goers are presented with either watching new releases on streaming services or seeking the few theaters that offer in person experiences. 


Since the beginning of the pandemic several upcoming releases have either been delayed or relegated to streaming services. Despite Governor Phil Murphy’s announcement that theaters will be able to open at a fraction of their capacities, New Jersey theaters “still remain dark,” according to The outlet recently reported that Regal Cinemas has closed 11 of its New Jersey locations due to the virus.


Like other service industries, it is difficult to predict when movie theaters will recover from the losses brought by COVID-19 and which movie theaters will survive the pandemic. It is also difficult to imagine going to a movie theater in the near future, especially with no guarantee that a vaccine will arrive soon. The limited nature of in person screenings at the moment means that the audience is limited to anyone who has the time to go to the movies and is willing to go regardless of the possible risk.


There are over 208,000 cases of COVID-19 in New Jersey and over 14,000 deaths from the virus, according to the State of New Jersey as of writing. In comparison, the New York Times’ current estimate places the amount of cases at almost 210,000 and deaths at over 16,000.