Picture this: 3 possible endings for cinema as COVID pushes it to the brink

Research output: Contribution to journalOnline ResourceProfessional


Hollywood’s heavyweights joined forces last week to ask the US government to help save cinemas. Directors James Cameron, Patty Jenkins and Martin Scorsese warned that cinemas “may not survive the impact of the pandemic,” with more than two thirds likely to fold without a bailout.

Meanwhile, the release of the next James Bond film has been delayed yet again following disappointing ticket sales for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.

COVID-19 has done something two world wars were not able to achieve. It closed cinemas. But to borrow from Mark Twain, reports of the death of cinema have always been greatly exaggerated. First it was television, then home video, then computer games, interactive movies, downloading and virtual reality that spelled the end of the big screen.

There will always be people who want to get out of the house (a desire made more keen by COVID lockdown), buy popcorn and experience the communal magic of the picture palace. Still, that doesn’t mean the new normal will look like the old one. There are three probable scenarios.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Picture this: 3 possible endings for cinema as COVID pushes it to the brink'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this