Malls prepare for reopening of cinemas, arcades

The formerly noisy arcade area at Trinoma Mall in City is still quiet.

But in the next few days, it is said that the area will be renovated to be ready if the opening continues on March 1.

Even theaters, which have been closed for almost a year, also need to be cleaned.

When the cinema opens, Trinoma plans to make 2 seats apart between viewers to maintain physical distancing, a step against COVID-19.

So the cinema, formerly 600 seaters will be only 200.

But this is just a plan because the management is still waiting for the guidelines of the local government units (LGU) regarding the reopening of the .

“Similar to noong bago tayo magbukas ng malls, na may agam-agam pa sa simula but little by little, nakita naman ng mga tao na safe mag-malling,” said Ayala Malls operations head Mei Mei Bauzon.

SM Malls is also preparing for the opening of theaters.

They will put up markers to maintain social distancing, depending on the instruction of the LGU.

Others like SM cinemas outside Metro Manila have been operating for a long time.

Malls prepare for reopening of cinemas, arcades

“We also kinda exaggerated our protocols like we did not allow inside the cinema kasi when you , you will have to take off your [face] mask,” SM Malls President Steven Tan explained.

According to Robinsons Mall, they will not immediately open a cinema even if it is possible on March 1 because it still depends on whether a movie will be released.

“Hindi natin alam kung in terms of business, kung talaga bang may manonood,” said Robinsons Malls regional operations head Myron Yao.

Vista Malls is also preparing safety protocols in theaters and arcades.

“We are looking forward to accommodating ‘yong mga cinema-goers because of course, matagal din silang ‘di nakapanood. Part of a complete malling experience is providing entertainment and amusement,” said Brian San Andres, corporate marketing officer of Vista Malls.

Mall owners, on the other hand, are convinced that the economy can be revived as long as health protocols are strictly enforced.