I am — tentatively — returning to cinemas

You may recall that almost exactly a year ago, “I pledge[d] not to review any new movie available only in cinemas as long as COVID-19 remains a danger.”

You may also have noticed that I recently reviewed A Quiet Place: Part II… which is available only in cinemas.

A Quiet Place Part II
Preparing to step into a multiplex these days like…

It was not a decision I made easily or lightly, to go back to movie theaters again, and to start reviewing only-in-cinemas movies again. And it’s a decision that I may yet rescind, if our curse of a pandemic decides to get really ugly again. It’s still ugly in plenty of places around the world, of course, but at the moment, in the United States and the United Kingdom, where most of my readers are, the virus seems to be coming under some measure of control. Many people have been vaccinated in both countries — I got my second jab on Friday — hospitalizations and deaths are way down, and so perhaps, with proper precautions taken, it might be safe(ish) to venture back to public places like multiplexes and arthouses again. (Canada and Australia, the third and fourth most likely nations that you folks are checking in from, also seem to be managing reasonably well these days.)

I am receiving invitations to press screenings now that are taking place in small private screening rooms, the sorts of venues that never felt well ventilated at the best of times. I am still not comfortable returning to these places. But when press screenings are taking place in multiplexes, with minimal capacity, with social distancing and masks in place, this feels okay to me at the moment. I’ve even been to one public multiplex screening so far, for Peter Rabbit 2. (It’s awful, even worse than the first one.) My housemates and I were the only ones there, so that felt quite safe indeed.

Anyway, I’ve begun to rebuild my in-cinemas pages: the US one, and the UK one. Because I know that not everyone will yet feel comfortable returning to public moviegoing, I’ll be indicating on these pages whether films playing in theaters are also available to stream at home. At the moment, that’s most of them, and I imagine that will continue for most of the summer, at least. So for now, there won’t be too much FOMO if you’re still only watching movies at home.

I hope you are all keeping well. Get your vaccine as soon as you can!

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