It has been almost two years that we here in the Philippines were deprived of watching movies on the big screen.
Sure, there are large televisions that money can buy, but there is nothing quite like the whole experience of dressing up and going to the cinema, buying snacks and eating them during the previews, and enjoying a film and sharing that moment with friends.
But the very essence of this shared experience – in an enclosed space no less – could make many moviegoers reluctant to do it again amid a pandemic.
Following the easing of restrictions in Metro Manila and other parts of the country, cinemas are slowly reopening their doors to the fully vaccinated public. On Nov. 10, Bonifacio High Street Cinemas started screening movies again. Dune and A Quiet Place Part 2 were screened at the reopening.
This time, however, the experience is slightly tweaked to meet current health protocols. Moviegoers will be asked to show their vaccination cards (with completed dosage) upon entry. Temperature will be checked and health declaration forms must be filled out before purchasing tickets. Contactless transactions via QR codes are in place.
Face masks must be worn while inside, and food and drinks (except water bottles) are temporarily not allowed. BHS has instead created a dining space in the cinema lobby for those who want to eat before or after the movie screening.
BHS uses UV light before and after screening to clean and disinfect the areas. Hand sanitizers and alcohol are also available for guests’ use.
As per the Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines’ (CEAP) protocols, hand washing every 30 minutes is mandatory for cinema employees, deep cleaning of seats and other surfaces is conducted after every screening, and theaters must have improved air ventilation.
BHS cinemas are open every Wednesday to Sunday only. Ticket reservations and purchases can be done from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.
According to CEAP, other cinemas now open in Metro Manila aside from BHS include Century City Mall, Circuit, Glorietta 4, and Power Plant in Makati; Fishermall in Malabon; Cinerama and Lucky Chinatown in Manila; Festival Mall in Muntinlupa; Ayala Malls Manila Bay in Parañaque; Newport Mall in Pasay; Cloverleaf, Eastwood, Fairview Terraces, Fishermall, Gateway, and TriNoma in Quezon City; Greenhills and Santolan Town Plaza in San Juan; and Market! Market!, Uptown, and Venice in Taguig.
Sta. Lucia in Rizal; Southwoods in Laguna; Fora in Tagaytay; Magic Star in Tarlac; Festive Walk in Iloilo; and Alturas, Bohol Quality, and Island City in Bohol have also reopened.