Cinemas reopen in Jamaica but some movie-goers worried

Palace Amusement will reopen its four cinemas in Jamaica today, July 8, but many movie-goers remain apprehensive as the coronavirus continues to be a threat.

The Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay, St James.

The company will only operate its theatres at 60 per cent of capacity, but even so, some Jamaicans are anxious that it may not be worth the risk.

Richard Mullings, a recent university graduate, told BUZZ “I miss being able to go out and see a movie and just be around my friends, but I don’t think the movie that’s worth getting corona has been made yet.”

Another regular movie-going, Leanne James, said she would consider consider going, given the safety measures, but that there aren’t any movies worth seeing due to studio postponements amid the virus.

Palace said its cinemas will operate at 60 per cent of capacity to ensure social distancing.

“What would we even be seeing?”, James asked. “Most of the movies that were scheduled for summer and earlier were pushed back so what they’ll likely show are older, or smaller films that no one would have gone to watch normally.”

Palace, which operates Carib 5 and Palace Cineplex in Kingston, Sunshine Palace in Portmore and Palace Multiplex in Montego Bay, has been closed for the past three and a half months.

In preparation for its reopening, Palace said it has implemented numerous measures, including social distancing and additional training for its staff.

Among its measures are the wearing of masks by patrons observing social distancing in lines at the box office and concession.

Sanitisation stations will be set up throughout the cinemas with a maximum of four persons from the same household being able to sit together as a group. 

Additionally, staff will be required to wear masks and served will be gloved.