Late last month, John Fithian, president and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners and Mitch Neuhauser, managing director of the trade show CinemaCon issued a joint memo to the industry acknowledging that while the Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a serious concern, CinemaCon 2020 is still set to convene March 30 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Digital Cinema Report published that memo http://bit.ly/2uQJITK in its entirety. This week the two men issued another memo detailing the many precautions that are being taken to ensure the safety of everyone who attends the convention.
“We are committed, focused and hard at work in putting on what we know is going to be an important and successful convention for the motion picture theater industry. The safety and productivity of our attendees remains our highest priority. We continue to closely monitor the Coronavirus situation and maintain daily communication with the CDC, Caesars Palace, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, American Society of Association Executives, and others to ensure safety practices are updated and implemented as appropriate for our guests. As of today, the CDC maintains the risk for the majority of the public remains low.
“Although the current risk level remains low, NATO and CinemaCon are committed to the health and safety of our guests and have therefore taken additional steps in partnership with Caesars Palace to enhance health and sanitation measures for CinemaCon 2020.
“Extra hand sanitizers will be available throughout Caesars Palace. As well, we will distribute individual hand sanitizer to each attendee.
“Caesars Palace has implemented enhanced cleaning protocols to ensure the health of guests and all of their employees, including servers throughout the property, including guest rooms and the casino. These include hourly sanitation, increased staff in restrooms, and wellness checks and training before each shift.
“CinemaCon is also working closely with Caesars Palace to reduce crowding, especially at food functions. Some examples include moving Tuesday and Wednesday’s lunches to locations with more space for seating and adding servers to distribute food at buffets and beverage stations. Extra napkins will also be provided at food functions. And wherever applicable, individually bagged/wrapped food will replace open/bowls of snacks. Servers will also wear gloves where possible.
“Extra trash bins will be available throughout the center.
“There will be signage throughout the property with health guidance and reminders.
“Caesars also has dedicated on site medical personnel including EMTs that stand ready to assist any guest that is feeling ill for whatever reason.
“Our guests and partners remain committed to a great CinemaCon this year. Some highlights of recent developments or discussions include:
“Our studio partners remain fully committed to the exhibition community with confirmed presentations/screenings set from Focus Features, Lionsgate, NEON, Paramount, Universal (presentation and screening), The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. Pictures (presentation and screening). Please continue to visit the CinemaCon website for updates to the schedule of events.
“The CinemaCon team recently returned from a successful week of planning meetings in Las Vegas with both Caesars Palace and all of our participating studios. The week was productive and exciting.
“With the exception of a few affected territories overseas, registrations remain very strong. Delegates from China, Japan, Korea, and Italy have cancelled, given the effect of the virus on those territories and the travel restrictions therefrom. Those cancellations are absolutely appropriate and those delegates will receive full refunds. For delegates from other international markets and the domestic market, however, registration numbers are consistent with where they were last year at this time.
“NATO and CinemaCon have every expectation of a successful and well-attended CinemaCon 2020 celebrating the moviegoing experience.
“For further reference points on precaution steps, we recommend reviewing the following links provided by the CDC and LVCVA.”