In principle, not much has changed since November, says Verena Dollinger. There is still no opening perspective. On the contrary. “At the moment it looks as if there could be even stricter restrictions from next week,” says the operator of the Moosburger-Rosenhoflichtspiele. Like the entire cinema industry, the young entrepreneur is pretty much in the air with her business in the corona crisis. When and how things will continue cannot be foreseen, which would require a long-term and reliable perspective, especially in this industry. Opening a cinema overnight because the incidence figures are just right is not possible, says Dollinger.
The problem is that film distributors and cinemas alike are on hold because of the current lockdown. The Moosburg cinema operator explains that it takes four to six weeks of lead time before a film distributor can start a new strip. “You first have to advertise it and get your employees back who are on short-time work,” says Dollinger: “That is also the time we need to plan a new film.” Whether a cinema is allowed to open depends on the incidence value and the rules in the respective region. The film distributors, in turn, do not release new films if they do not have enough buyers for them. “We don’t know which films we’re getting. And the film distributors don’t know how many cinemas are allowed to open,” the Rosenhof boss describes the dilemma.
If she opened her cinema now, she would not be able to show any new films: “Then we would either have to play films from November or those that are already on Amazon, Netflix or other portals and that many have already seen on the couch at home – but that’s not the point of cinema. ” What the industry would like would be a long-term and uniform solution. “If, for example, we already knew that cinemas were allowed to reopen on August 15th, then everything could be prepared by then,” says Dollinger. The back and forth with the dependence on current incidence values is not only causing cinema operators to skid when it comes to films. “We also have to order all of our confectionery, cola and so on, if you have half a year, the best-before date is exceeded for many things,” says Dollinger: “Last year we had to throw away a lot of things, then we reordered, when we opened – and now we have the same mess. “
The only constant at the Rosenhof is currently the gastronomy. Since the cinema also has a restaurant, take-away food is offered there from Thursday to Sunday. Overall, one could not complain, “even if things could of course go even better,” said the Rosenhof boss. But you also have to understand people: “To go is just not the same as eating in the pub.” Nonetheless, the restaurant is “of course our big advantage compared to other cinemas that currently cannot do anything except sell cinema vouchers”. And that is “not even the world”. At Easter, the Rosenhof posted a sharp decline in voucher sales compared to the previous year. “You just notice the insecurity among the people – we know that we will still be around next year, but the people will not,” said Dollinger.
For the reopening, the Rosenhof has already thought about a possible test concept, “but that is very difficult,” says the operator. Tests directly in the cinema are problematic for reasons of space. “Where should I get the room? I can’t let the tested people join the untested in the foyer.” Hopes therefore rest on the public test center in the Moosburg ice stadium. “If people get tested there and bring their certificate with them, we would of course prefer that,” says Dollinger.
The test center could also play a major role in this context if the city council decides on Monday that Moosburg should apply for the model project “Safe opening through testing”. If Moosburg got the contract, it would be “certainly interesting for your cinema, but also difficult because of the film problem,” says Dollinger. In Tübingen, too, the cinemas are faced with the question: “What should we play?” In turn, she heard from Saarland that some cinemas had decided against opening them because the test centers were closed on weekends, when most of the business was being done. In the worst case scenario in Moosburg, this would not be a problem: tests are carried out seven days a week.