A German theater company releases an image revealing what movie theaters could look like when they reopen with social distancing rules.

A German theater company released an image revealing what movie theaters could look like when they reopen, and the result is eerie. Public spaces around the world have been shut in an unprecedented move, due to the coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping the globe.

The virus has shut down film and TV production worldwide, delaying almost every movie and TV production, in addition to affecting almost every aspect of daily life for billions of people. One sectors that’s been hit hard is the movie and theater business. With theaters unable to open, millions of venues around the world have been forced to shut their doors. But, as certain parts of the world have begun to recover from the effects of coronavirus, many venues, like the Disney parks, are figuring out how to reopen safely under social distancing restrictions.

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Theaters and cinemas are going to have to do the same. One such theater is The Berliner Ensemble. The German company released an image of their adjusted theater space on Twitter yesterday. The image shows massive gaps between pairs of seats, with the odd lonely seat scattered here and there. The impression one gets is of an eerie and unsettling space, rather than the familiar and inviting theater experience patrons have become used to. It is also a look into the potential future of the cinema-going experience. You can see the tweet, in their original German, below:

Translated, the quote from Oliver Reese, Artistic Director of The Berliner Ensemble, says that the new seating arrangement is a response to the theater’s “longing to return to the stage.” He goes on to say that the theater wants to “deal flexibly with new experiences and react quickly to changing conditions,” and reassures patrons that the new layout is “temporary.” The image has since gone viral, as it is the first real look at how some movie theaters around the globe may choose to respond to social distancing measures.

How many theaters will attempt such a drastic move remains unclear, but what is clear is that the cinema experience will definitely not be the same, at least for the next few months. The empty spaces in the Berliner Ensemble theater remind us that when theaters do reopen, they will represent yet another example of the “new normal” and something to which we will quickly have to adjust. Whether that is sitting in a cinema that has had half of its seats ripped out, or sitting next to a row of empty seats in order to stay safe remains to be seen.

But, the tweets also serve as a reminder this will only be temporary. No one knows how long social distancing measures will be in place, but at some point, we will all have the opportunity to safely return to watching the latest releases in a packed cinema on a Friday night. That, at least, is something to look forward to.

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Source: The Berliner Ensemble/Twitter

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