This morning, I rode my bike to the cinema, once again. I already knew it was closed, I just wanted to hurt myself seeing it like this, alone and barred. To share some thoughts that I could share only with it, until a few weeks ago. Who knows when we can meet again, I said before I went home.
The International Union of Cinemas — UNIC —, the body that represents European movie theater owners, has underscored its opposition to any challenge to the theatrical window despite the widespread closure of cinemas due to the coronavirus crisis.
In a statement issued Friday, thry said: “With the financial impacts of this unprecedented crisis on our industry still not fully clear, now is not the time to seek short-term financial gains at the expense of the sector as a whole.”
Only a handful of big-name blockbusters had been postponed in the UK and US, Cannes remained bullish and box office numbers weren’t wobbling too much. By Monday, the picture was radically cracked. Ticket sales in those territories were pitiful. Distributors cancelled release after release. Cinema chains started shutting their doors. And, behind the scenes, the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people were destroyed.
UNIC referred to industry discussion that the temporary closure of cinemas would lead to the release of some titles straight to home entertainment. “This is not a development, however, which is in the interest of either the sector or audiences.”
I gave my cinema another look from the window, before starting to project my thoughts on the wall. The movie was all around. It had crept into my soul, and really starting to scare me.