• Texas will allow theaters and other establishments to reopen on Friday
  • Major cinemas are still unlikely to reopen without the support of major studio releases
  • The U.S. released coronavirus guidelines on when theaters and other establishments could reopen

Texas residents will get to enjoy watching movies on the big screen soon.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the movie theaters in the state will be allowed to reopen on Friday (May 1) alongside restaurants, retail stores and museums.

Texas is the latest state to allow theaters to reopen. Georgia did the same on Monday. However, major chains are not expected to resume their business operations yet. Abbott acknowledged that many companies are to remain closed amid the pandemic.

“This is permission to open, not a requirement,” he said, Variety reported.

The governor also stressed that although theaters and establishments are allowed to reopen, they will only operate at 25% capacity, which many might not find practical at all. Also, major theaters are unlikely to resume their businesses without the support of major studio releases.

Most of the upcoming films have been pushed back due to the coronavirus outbreak. For instance, Disney’s “Mulan” was moved from March 27 to July 25 and Marvel’s “Black Widow” was pushed back to Nov. 6.

Aside from Texas and Georgia, several other states including South Carolina, Oklahoma and Alaska have taken initial steps to reopen. However, the majority have maintained the “stay at home” orders until April 30. Texas has nearly 30 million population and is the largest state to reopen.

“We are Texans,” Abbott said. “We got this.”

Earlier this month, the U.S. released coronavirus guidelines on when movie theaters and other establishments could resume operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There were three phases mentioned in the guidelines. The criteria that must be met are the following:

  • There must be a downward trajectory of reported flu-like illnesses and cases with COVID-like symptoms.
  • There must be a downward trajectory of documented COVID-19 cases, or positive COVID-19 tests.
  • Hospitals must be able to treat all patients without crisis care and have a robust testing program for at-risk healthcare workers.

The aforementioned criteria have to be satisfied within a 14-day period for a state to move to Phase One. At the time, Dr. Anthony Fauci and President Donald Trump noted that 29 states were about to reopen.

Going to the movies on Christmas has become a fun family activity in recent years. Here, fans line up for a movie in Van Nuys, California, Dec. 25, 2014. Kevork Djansezian/Reuters