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Movie theaters are slowly opening up after being closed due to COVID-19. They are considered by experts to be one of the most dangerous places to be due to the close seating arrangements

Although big movie theater chains have been able to survive the hit of COVID-19, smaller, independent theaters may not have the same resources.

Regal Theaters is deciding to close down all of their theaters temporarily, according to the Regal theater website.

“Tenet” was going to be shown in the U.S. box office in Sep.3, with the idea many people would  come and see it after the movie theaters started opening up again during COVID-19. But not many people came to watch the movie.

Warner Brothers didn’t have the fuss it normally has when a film is released, Usually, films are projected to make $10 million to  $12 million — and more if there are previews.  When “Tenet ”  wasn’t shown much love after its Labor Day release,  the studio didn’t have a motive to release  the next blockbuster “Wonder Woman 1984” in October. The movie is now slated for release at  Christmas. 

Until New York and Los Angeles open up again, it will be hard to meet the big box office numbers. The next blockbuster will be “Black Widow,” which is arriving in November, according to The Atlantic.

With no blockbusters in a movie theater, it will make it harder for any improvement to happen. Even though there are lower budget films, big-budget movies bring the people to the theaters.

The blockbuster is especially important during this pandemic because these movies will draw people out of their safe homes. Movie theater chains AMC, Regal and Cinemark have changed their ways, adding more sanitation, adapting air- filtering systems and limiting employee contact  with guests.

Even with these new rules, people are not coming. Theaters didn’t expect this is how it would play out after changing their protocols. This probably won’t work for smaller movie theaters. 

Regal Movie theaters in the Bay Area like the one in Dublin may close. So during the months of September and October, movie theaters had lower-budget films of horror, dramas and lots of romantic comedies. 

After the initial lockdown earlier this year, many movie theaters were set to reopen. However, according to the Regal Club Newsletter, due to the rise of cases some movie theaters had put off opening or closed their doors again. 

Today you can go to the movies in Northern California once again. 

Movie theaters have opened from Santa Cruz (Del Mar Theater) to Tracy (Cinemark Movies 14) to Danville (Century Blackhawk Plaza) and in other local cities. Viewers can see those movies that were set to release but were postponed due to COVID-19 and movies that are set to be released in the future.

Many people are willing to go to the movies. As for others, not so much.

New rules will be in place, like social distancing and wearing masks.

Monina Yoo, a friend of a Las Positas student, said she was happy that movie theaters are opening up.“ I feel like it’s good that the movie theaters are opening up as it will help business and be better for the economy,” she said.

Yoo wouldn’t go to the movie theaters, stating safety as a concern. Yoo said,  “No I do not feel fully safe to go to the movie theaters because I think a lot of people still don’t take this pandemic seriously in terms of safety like social distancing, wearing a mask and etc.”

Safety to Yoo means to be protected from and not exposed to danger or risk. Yoo said she would not order food from the movie theater. 

Doug Ahn, a father of a Las Positas student, thinks it’s good that the theaters are opening up but only if they can guarantee that it’s safe.

Ahn said he would go to a movie, but that he would be careful. “I would check it out before buying my ticket,” he said. 

Ahn would feel safe if there is social distancing between seats and the wearing of masks. If not, Ahn wouldn’t feel safe. 

Ahn said, “Safe to me is not having to worry about being sick.” Ahn also would not order food from the movie theaters for a while but might get a soda or water.

Kim Lee, the mother of another Las Positas student, said that she wasn’t concerned about movie theaters opening up. She is not sure if she would go to a movie theater. Lee does not feel like it would be safe to go to a movie theater right now.

For Lee, being safe requires good air circulation. Lee was adamant about not ordering food from the movie theaters. She said, “Oh no, I will never ever buy food (there) again. I’m going to just sneak food in because it’s too risky to get food at the theater.”

Movie theater tickets are now only available online before going, according to CNBC. 

People with whom you may not share a household can still buy tickets for the seat next to you. The movie theaters say that you should enforce social distancing when you purchase a ticket online. 

 Those who attend movies will be required to wear masks while inside the building, but can take off the mask while consuming the food and drinks. 

The choice is ultimately yours of the risks you can take. Either if it’s to see a movie that is in theaters for a limited time or movies that will come out eventually on DVD or streaming.

For  Alameda County, indoor movie theaters will have 25% of capacity or 100% of capacity starting Oct. 26 

Movies can be a comforting way of getting through a hard time today. But safety remains a concern for those who choose to attend. 

Michelle Pacheco is a staff writer of The Express. Follow her @Miseon7Michelle .

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