Will cinema’s ‘focused enjoyment’ be permanently paused?


Will cinema’s ‘focused enjoyment’ be permanently paused?

Some say up to 10,000 movie screens in the US could disappear in the next few years. Others disagree

Lisa Richwine

Maryo Mogannam snuck into the Empire theatre in San Francisco with his older cousins to watch Animal House when he was 14. He watched most of the James Bond movies at the historic art house and took his wife there on some of their first dates.

The cinema, which had been showing movies since the silent film era, served notice in February that it was permanently closing because of the impact of Covid-19. The marquee is now blank and cardboard and paper cover the box office window.

“It’s kind of like losing a friend,” said Mogannam, now 57, who owns a retail outlet near the theatre, which had been renamed CineArts at the Empire...

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