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Hong Kong Cinemas to Reopen as Virus Fourth Wave Abates

Cinemas in Hong Kong are set to reopen on Thursday after a hiatus caused by the city’s fourth wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.

As the number of infections has dropped to only single figure daily increases, the government announced on Tuesday permission to reopen previously shuttered public places including cinemas and theme parks. Theme parks and cinemas have been ordered to close three times.

Cinemas, closed since Dec. 2, were particularly badly hit as they were forced to miss were three key holiday seasons; Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. They have been closed for 163 days out of the past 12 months, according to the Hong Kong Theater Association, a trade body.

There has been no statement as yet from either of Hong Kong’s theme parks, Ocean Park or Hong Kong Disneyland. Previous closure and reopening cycles suggest that a restart of the parks will not be immediate.

Cinemas, on the other hand, are moving fast to reopen on Thursday. Variety understands that cinema operators are racing to come to terms with the new modes of operation and crowd control measures. Visitors to theme parks and cinemas will be required give their contact details manually or use the government’s contact-tracing app.

A large backlog of big films awaits release. They include; mainland Chinese titles that opened for the Lunar New Year holiday season; anticipated Hong Kong youth dance drama “The Way We Keep Dancing”; Hollywood’s “Wonder Woman 1984,” and animated feature “Soul”; and two Hong Kong-mainland China titles that released in December, Dante Lam’s action epic “The Rescue,” scheduled for Feb. 26. Release, and crime-thriller “Shock Wave 2” starring Andy Lau and Lau Ching-wan. Documentary “Assassins” will be released on Feb. 18, said Broadway Circuit, and Golden Horse best film winner “My

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