As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerian cinemas have been shut down since March 2020. The Cinema Exhibitors Association of Nigeria (CEAN) has announced that all cinemas across the country are to reopen from Friday, 11th September 2020. The decision came against the backdrop of the approval of the Presidential Task Force on COVID19, in an announcement made on 3rd September 2020. Whilst the federal government has now authorized the reopening of cinemas, there are still ongoing discussions with Lagos and Rivers state governments regarding reopening in those states. Kwara State government approved for her state.
Viva Cinemas is one of the most visited in Nigeria, it reopened its Ilorin branch on the 18th of September, 2020. Staff body temperatures are checked early in the morning as they resume before they enter the cinema to start their duties. People are used to coming into the cinema to make enquires, then walk around but there is nothing of such anymore as movements are now restricted and fully monitored. Viewers with their face masks are carefully checked in using a forehead thermometer to examine their temperature and sprayed with medical disinfectant from head to toe. Automated hand sanitizers are used at the entrance of the cinema building.
A compulsory contact tracing form is filled by the viewers before they are being attended to. The major challenge has been inside the screen room, one of the staff is always in the screen room to ensure social distancing is observed. Viewers are checked on every interval to ensure they are observing social distancing, though there are indications on the seat to tell where to or not to sit. “Yesterday was the first day of re-opening, so, understandably, the turnout wasn’t impressive. Secondly, our core customers are students, and institutions in Kwara haven’t resumed yet” the manager said.