The coronavirus pandemic has been brutal to many industries, including film, with movie theatres forced to close and new releases pushed back indefinitely. Some chains are reopening where regulations allow, but people aren’t necessarily eager to sit in an enclosed space with strangers while a respiratory virus spreads.
In August, a Morning Consult study found that only 17% of respondents felt comfortable returning to a movie theatre.
Chains are trying novel approaches to offset the disastrous effects of the coronavirus on their business model. Some AMC locations offered 15-cent tickets to popular films like “Black Panther” to entice audiences, though seating is limited to 40% capacity and masks are required.
Even if these measures are helping a bit, the outlook for theatres is bleak. AMC proposed a deal to stave off bankruptcy. Cineworld’s stock price fell 76%, and Cinemark’s fell 68% in the first half of March and haven’t recovered. Drive-in theatres, however, are doing unusually well, which may be another indicator that people aren’t ready to return to indoor theatres just yet.
London design studio Layer is taking this unusual opportunity to market its new movie theatre seats and maybe change the classic theatre look in the process. The Sequel Seat design, which was in the works before COVID-19 even existed, is both a more modern take on the classic movie theatre aesthetic and a way to incorporate some safety features.
“We believe that a product like Sequel Seat will play a key role in encouraging people to come back to the cinema” founder Benjamin Hubert said.
World news – GB – A London studio created this seat design to get people back into the movie theatre safely as theatre chains suffer due to the ongoing pandemic