Covid-19 Recovery

Paris shakes off Covid blues with midnight cinema reopening

The Cinema 5 Caumartin cinema in Paris reopens at one minute past midnight on June 22, 2020.
The Cinema 5 Caumartin cinema in Paris reopens at one minute past midnight on June 22, 2020. AFP - ABDULMONAM EASSA

Cinemas have reopened across France for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown began in March, with the 5 Caumartin theatre in Paris' 9th arrondissement opening one minute after the clock struck midnight for a red-carpet champagne and popcorn sneak preview of the upcoming French comedy, "Les Parfums" (The Perfumes).  

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"There are no words to describe what I feel," said  I have been waiting for this for 99 days," cinema manager Louis Merle told the 120 people who had queued up for their first big-screen experience since March 17. 

"Watching series on Netflix is one thing, but the cinema is something else," said Emmanuelle Devos, who stars in Les Parfums

 

Even though cinemas have reopened, they are far from back to normal.

The authorities insist that screenings can never be more than half full with a free seat either side of each filmgoer.

And everyone must wear masks as they queue for tickets and in the corridors.

Even so, pollsters estimate that 18.7 million French people -- almost a third of the population -- plan to go see a film in the next month.

 

French casinos are also to open from Monday, and people are once again allowed to practise collective sports across the country. But football fans will have to wait until 11 July to savour their first live matches.

 

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