US shuts movie theaters over #COVID-19

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles and New York City on Monday announced the closure of movie theatres and other live performance venues, for the first time in US history, in an effort to combat the coronavirus.

— Xinhua

The decisions came after box offices suffered a cheerless weekend due to reduced screenings in most parts of the country, especially in major metropolitan areas such as New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, where the incidence of COVID-19 is relatively higher.

Since ancillary revenues from foreign sales, home video/DVDs and streaming are still largely tied to box office performance in the North American market, many theatre chains were reluctant to take steps to limit or ban public attendance at their theatres amid the coronavirus outbreak.

However, with the United States now facing an increasingly grave public health crisis caused by the coronavirus, local government officials have started to make the call that people should “shelter in place” and avoid public assemblies.

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