Gov Newsom Orders Los Angeles and 18 More Counties to Close Movie Theaters for At Least 3 Weeks

Restaurants must also close dine-in service and return to takeout only.

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In his daily COVID-19 press briefing, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered Los Angeles County and 18 other counties to close movie theaters and dine-in restaurant service for at least the next three weeks as infections continue to surge.

The new order comes after the governor ordered the closure of bars in Los Angeles and other counties severely affected by the virus. Newsom’s latest order also requires the closure of zoos, museums, entertainment venues, and casinos.

Newsom made the decision to reopen much of the state’s economy in early June, but restrictions are tightening again as new cases are rapidly increasing in California and dozens of other states. 6,367 new infections in California were reported on Tuesday, a new state record attributed to business reopenings, the resumption of mass gatherings by civilians, and the nationwide protests against police violence following the killing of George Floyd.

Beaches will also be closed on Fourth of July weekend in L.A. and Ventura County in an effort to dissuade mass gatherings. Newsom says that while beaches will remain open in most other counties, parking lots statewide will be closed. He also urges residents to remain vigilant about protecting themselves from COVID-19, even during family gatherings.

“It’s family gatherings where people let down their guard,” Newsom said. “Then all of a sudden, you see a spread.”

As for the movie theater industry, Newsom’s announcement is just the latest in a series of blows to attempts to salvage the summer blockbuster season. It was just two weeks ago that national chains AMC, Cinemark and Regal rolled out their plans to reopen their locations in time for the release of Disney’s “Mulan” and Warner Bros.’ “Tenet.” But as infections continued to escalate, “Mulan” and “Tenet” were moved to August 12 and August 21 respectively, leading AMC to announce earlier this week that it was shifting its reopening plan to the end of July. If the outbreaks in the U.S. continue to worsen, the film industry will be forced to leave summer behind completely.

In the meantime, films still set as offerings for theaters in August alongside “Mulan” and “Tenet” include Solstice Studios’ “Unhinged,” Sony’s “The Broken Hearts Gallery,” and Orion’s “Bill and Ted Face the Music.”