Slovenian Cinemas Reopen Gradually

    Bezigrad Drive-In Cinema Bezigrad Drive-In Cinema

    LJUBLJANA: Most Slovenian art houses have already reopened, while the COVID-19 situation is less and less restrictive, whereas cineplexes, with the exception of Maribox, are still waiting, as the food and beverage consumption is still not allowed.

    The one-screen cinema Bežigrad in Ljubljana will open on 3 June 2021, while its drive-in cinema, located on a parking lot near the Vič shopping centre, is already running over the weekends (Fridays and Saturdays).

    Maribox, one of two multiplexes in the Slovenian second largest city Maribor, is planning to reopen on 3 June 2021. "Currently we have to respect the recommendations issued by the National Institute of Public Health and a government decree. The condition for entering the cinema is the locally used term PCT, meaning people who have recovered, have been vaccinated or tested for COVID-19, which we hope will be eliminated soon. Additionally, we have to work at only 50% of the capacity," Ksenija Arzenšek, Maribox head of marketing, told FNE.

    Ljubljana's Kolosej, the only multiplex in the capital city, is still waiting for better conditions. "We are planning to reopen our city cinema Komuna on 10 June 2021, while the Kolosej remains closed for the time being", Damjan Smodiš, managing director of Kolosej Kinematografi, told FNE.

    The cinema chain Cineplexx, which runs multiplexes in Maribor, Celje, Koper, Kranj, Maribor, Murska Sobota and Novo mesto, has not opened yet either. Nina Hočevar, Cineplexx head of marketing, says: "We are hoping for measures that will enable us economically sustainable operation. At this point we still haven't got the final decision about the exact reopening date."

    Cinema operators are not happy with the PCT requirements. "The minimum conditions for operating are guaranteed, but we are certainly still not satisfied with them, as they do not allow people who do not meet the PCT requirements to enter the cinema," Samo Seničar, the Metropol head of programming, explains the current situation in Celje.

    The same opinion is shared by Jure Matišič, the president of the Slovenian Art Cinema Association, who also runs an art house cinema in Domžale. Matičič points out that they considered 50 visitors per screen as the minimum condition, which still does not allow profitability.