Moviegoers Erupt with Applause as L.A. Theaters Reopen

Labor News, Industry News

Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Chris Gardner on March 16, 2021.

The lights went down inside theater No. 9 on the upper deck of the AMC Century City 15 at 4:15 p.m. on Monday. A handful of moviegoers were still trickling in as high-octane trailers for Marvel Studios’ Black Widow and Universal’s Nobody played for a seated audience, which, once everyone was settled, topped out at 23.

They were there to see Fox Searchlight’s Nomadland — which scored six Oscar nominations earlier in the day including a history-making nod for director Chloé Zhao — but before the first frame appeared, AMC squeezed in an interstitial to remind guests of important COVID-19 protocols including mask-wearing at all times except when eating or drinking. Then came a final message before the movie started, a bright graphic with bold letters and a voiceover to match that said, “Welcome Back to the Movies.”

The audience responded by doing something typically saved for the final credits (of a worthy film) — they erupted in applause with a handful of guests cheering, “Woo!” …

THR 3/16

About Jeffrey Burman 861 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at [email protected].