When cinemas across Lagos shut down activities on March 24, following the advice of the state government, most expected that the shutdown would not last for long.
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Impact of the lockdown
Now, the various state governors have commenced easing of the lockdown (which had been placed nationwide to curb the spread of COVID-19) and a gradual reopening of the economy. In spite of this, the fate of cinemas, just like most entertainment outlets, is largely uncertain.
Nairametrics had done an analysis of the Q1 performances of cinemas in Nigeria, and findings in that article showed a significant drop in their weekly revenues between February and March 2020. Also, available data from CEAN shows that the last filming week for cinemas was 20 to 26 March, 2020, and since then no income has been recorded.
Movies like Going Bananas, 2 Weeks in Lagos, Lemonade, The Good Husband, and others slated for release in April and May have been postponed indefinitely. Omoni Oboli, notable Nigerian actress and filmmaker, who was shooting a new TV series, Last Year Single, had to halt the production abruptly, and no one could say for sure when things would become “normal” again.
Seeking possible solutions
There may yet be hope for the industry, even as it proceeds into the second half of the year. However, there will have to be huge sacrifices and adjustments made, and the result is that cinemas will no longer be what you used to know.
So, here’s what you should expect from the ‘new normal’ in the industry.
Drive-in screening of movies
Just recently, the drive-in cinema was experienced for the first time in Nigeria. Foremost filmmaker, Charles Okpaleke, has pioneered the concept with the screening of the Living in Bondage sequel, which was screened at the drive-in cinema holding at Transcorp Hilton car park, Abuja.
Silverbird cinemas also had its first drive-in cinema experience, when it screened the Legend of Inikpi on Sunday June 7, in Abuja, with plans to replicate it in…