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Is it still worth it to return to cinemas in the new normal?

By SAAB LARIOSA Published Nov 11, 2021 9:25 pm

Metro Manila and the rest of the country are slowly relaxing restrictions in tune with the decelerating COVID-19 cases, and the cinema industry is back in business at last.

With the barrage of binge-watching and movie marathons we've had at home, being back in the cinemas is definitely an experience that screams "normal," but is it really all that normal with strict health protocols? 

ICYDK, here are the few guidelines in place when watching a film:

  • Only fully vaccinated individuals are permitted (with presented vaccination cards)
  • 30% capacity is allowed
  • No eating inside the cinema
  • Ticket-purchasing will be contactless
  • Seating must be physically distanced

With movie houses' first day back on Nov. 10, we had the chance to watch Dune, one of the first few movies showing in Philippine theatres after almost two years. If you're one of the many people still unsure about going back to the cinemas, we've listed down what to expect—and if it's worth returning to this "new normal."

No food and drinks allowed can be a bummer
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One of the joys of going to the movies is the opportunity to munch on some popcorn as the trailers roll. This time around, you won't be able to enjoy snacks all throughout a 2-3 hour film, so best to fill up before going in. Although some movie houses allow bottles of water to keep hydrated.

Other cinemas have also set up a designated eating space if you go really hungry during the movie, but why waste the moment (and money) by going outside? 

Wear a comfortable mask
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It goes without saying that a mask is a must, but more so when you need to sit down and keep still in a movie house.

If you have a favorite type of mask that lets you breathe properly and is consistently comfortable to wear, best to wear that when watching in the cinemas. You don't want to be the person that regularly takes off their mask and makes other people feel uncomfortable.

Prepare your attention span
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This one is hard to admit, but haven't we all been stuck to our phones in the pandemic? When we're watching a show or movie at home, we have the luxury of checking our phones or even going to another tab whenever we want, but it's another topic when you're in the dark and have to keep your 100% attention on a huge screen.

Luckily, epic films like Dune and The Quiet Place II that are showing now will likely catch (and keep) your attention. 

No more seatmate chats

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Another fun aspect of going to the movies is talking to your friends with little jokes or observations about the film. This time, with physical distancing at a must, cinemas are giving at least one seat apart between patrons.

It really isn't a huge problem, but it will ultimately make the movie-watching experience feel more solitary.

So, is it worth it?

It all depends on you, but if you're expecting the same cinematic experience as it was before the pandemic, you're already setting yourself up for disappointment.

We may not have the same privileges as before, but if you're in need of a quick break from reality (and you're fully vaccinated), you'll enjoy sinking deep into a good film and letting your mind wander into a new world. Just remember to always follow the health protocols.