Under the motto #BackToCinema, Swiss cinemas were allowed to reopen their doors for film fans on 6 June with extensive precautionary measures.
Since the internet and streaming platforms, cinemas are under increasing pressure. And then there was Corona. Are the cinemas doomed? "No!", Hansjörg Beck, operator of the Ciné-Theater in Gstaad and two other cinemas in Rapperswil SG, is convinced. The death of the cinema has often been predicted but they are still alive, he says. Nevertheless, according to Beck, the start last weekend in Gstaad was "restrained but okay". Due to the bad weather, he would have expected a larger audience, but he understands the situation: "It takes some time now and new blockbusters.
Precautionary measures in the cinema
The concept of ProCinema, the umbrella organisation of Swiss cinema and film distribution companies, stipulates that no more than 300 tickets may be sold per screening, although this does not matter for the Gstaad cinema with its 203 seats. In terms of seating in the auditorium, one seat must be left free on the right and one on the left between individual guests and groups of guests (couples, families, persons in the same household). Online ticketing, contactless payment and contactless entrance control are also recommended.
In addition to film screenings, the Ciné-Theater can also be rented for events, corporate functions, birthdays and other events that contribute to its successful operation, explains Beck. The Filmpodium Saanen, for example, regularly rents the cinema. "We had to cancel two film screenings, which take place on the first Monday of each month, because of Corona", regrets Christian Rudin of Filmpodium Saanenland. But last Monday they could seize the opportunity and showed the Moroccan comedy "Le Miracle du Saint inconnu".
Unclouded cinema pleasure
With humour and understanding, the visitors adhered to distance and hygiene regulations and signed the attendance lists in a (typically Swiss?) well-behaved manner. The measures could spoil the magic of the movie experience. "We don't let this spoil the joy of the cinema," said one visitor after the film.
Based on AvS/Kerem S. Maurer