As the world’s second biggest film market, Chinese movie theaters have taken a monstrous hit due to coronavirus since shutting their doors in late January. Lost box office revenue is reported to be around $4.2 billion dollars, according to Wang Xiaohui, chief of China’s Film Bureau. But now, amidst the news that China will be lowering its state of emergency on April 30, cinemas will hopefully reopen in early June.

The initial announcement was made by the deputy secretary general of the Beijing municipal government, Bei Chen, at a press conference in central Beijing. Wang later went on to detail the gradual opening of entertainment venues throughout China, including the country’s 70,000 movie screens. If all goes according to plan, the theaters will be up and running by this summer.

Once movies do resume in Chinese theaters, Wang stated that the government would “offer a series of support policies for the film industry” and that “each regional film bureau will introduce their own support policies as well.” In addition, the government plans to "control theatrical film windowing" from here on out, which might prevent producers from moving films to streaming services early.

China’s movie theaters closed around late January, a few weeks ahead of major American movie theater chains. We’ll have to pay close attention to how their cinemas are reintroduced back into society, as it may tell us something about our own movie theaters’ futures.

Gallery — What We Miss Most About Going to the Movies:

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