Violet Crown Cinema Staying Closed During Pandemic
Local minichain standing with other Austin cinemas
By Richard Whittaker,
7:00PM, Mon. May 4, 2020
While the national press is having a field day with the idea that Texas cinemas are reopening in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, the reality is very different. In Austin, the brick-and-mortar cinemas are staying dark - and Violet Crown Cinema has confirmed that it is standing with the other arthouse, indie, and chains.
When Gov. Greg Abbott announced that cinemas in Texas would be allowed to stay open at 25% capacity as what he calls Phase One of reopening Texas, the reality is that the overwhelming majority of them statewide, and every single site in Austin, rejected the proposal.
The national chains are maintaining a policy that they will stay closed until it is safe to open nationwide, no matter what policies individual state governors proclaim.
In Austin, AFS Cinema and the Alamo Drafthouse also confirmed that they were staying dark, and Violet Crown is also on that list.
The micro-chain with sites in Austin, Charlotte, NC, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, has released this statement.
The safety of our customers and staff remains our top priority. With that in mind, we will not open our cinemas on May 1 and do not have a confirmed re-open date at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and look forward to when we can safely welcome people through our doors again in the near future.
David Gil, Violet Crown's Director of Marketing and Programming, emphasized that the company will stick with the current "virtual cinema" programming, whereby audiences can purchase VOD rentals of films and the proceeds will go to help keep cinemas going until they can reopen safely and with a full schedule.
Within Austin, the only theater open is the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In, which is adhering to strict social distancing guidelines at its Mueller and Round Rock locations, as is Doc's Drive-In in Buda. For more on the drive-ins are keeping the projectors lit, read "A the Drive-In" in this week's issue.