XXI cinemas open in several Indonesian cities with added COVID-19 protocols

A Cinema XXI movie theater. Photo: Cinema XXI
A Cinema XXI movie theater. Photo: Cinema XXI

After resorting to watching films at home for months, some moviegoers in Indonesia are finally able to go back to their routine of going to the movies as a major cinema operator in the country has resumed its operations after closing for seven months.

XXI, one of Indonesia’s two main cinema franchises, began reopening its theatres in major cities including Bandung, Banjarmasin, and Jayapura on Saturday after having to switch off the projectors since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other cities included in the list are Samarinda, Ternate, and Pontianak.

In a statement released yesterday, XXI’s spokesperson Dewinta Hutagaol said that the company decided to postpone the reopening of theatres in Jakarta after receiving a letter from the city’s Tourism and Creative Economy Agency, while also citing another factor. 

“One of the obstacles we’re facing is that we have limited choices of films to show, be it Hollywood or Indonesian films,” Dewinta said.

Jakarta is currently undergoing the second phase of transitional Large-Scale Social Restrictions (PSBB Transisi) until Oct. 25, during which movie theatres are allowed to reopen to 25 percent capacity. Cinema operators say reopening under this condition would not cover operational costs.

If you reside in the cities listed above and are planning to go to the movies, your experience will be notably different from the pre-pandemic days. A number of regulations are now imposed in XXI theatres, including 50 percent capacity limit and standard COVID-19 health protocols such as temperature check and hand sanitizer usage at the entrance, obligatory face masks, and QR code scanning for contact tracing. If your body temperature is above 37.3 degrees celsius, you will be denied from entering the premises.

Moviegoers are encouraged to buy tickets as well as snacks beforehand through XXI’s official ticketing system M-TIX or TIX ID, or pay with cards at the counter while keeping 1 meter distance from other visitors in the theatres. In the studio, moviegoers should only sit in their designated seats and not use the ones marked to remain vacant.

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