CinemaCon 2021 Delayed to August as Theaters Face Existential Crisis

CinemaCon, the movie theater exhibition industry’s annual trade show, has been rescheduled. The National Association of Theatre Owners, the organization behind the event, cited ongoing international travel restrictions and limits on large gatherings due to coronavirus as the reason behind the delay.

The yearly gathering of cinema lovers, which occurs at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, is usually held in late March. In 2021, CinemaCon will take place four months later than expected on Aug. 23-26.

“With all the travel, logistical, and capacity concerns for the convention, our 7,500 attendees, vendors, and studio distribution partners, we couldn’t guarantee we could present the kind of show the industry expects in April,” said CinemaCon’s managing director Mitch Neuhauser. “In close consultation with our studio and industry partners, we are rescheduling CinemaCon for August, when we think we can put on the kind of showcase we do best, and celebrate the moviegoing experience with the entire industry.”

The movie theater business has been ravaged by the pandemic, which forced cinemas to close for months and prompted studios to postpone nearly all of their upcoming movies. Theaters in North America, with the exception of New York City and Los Angeles, have mostly reopened. Yet moviegoing in the U.S. has yet to rebound, especially with the dearth of new product. Some European cinemas have closed down again as England, France and Italy are grappling with significant spikes in the virus. Only China and Japan have seen the release of bona fide blockbusters, like “The Eight Hundred” and “Demon Slayer,” amid the pandemic.

CinemaCon 2020 was supposed to take place March 30-April 2, but it was one of the last industry gatherings to be called off as cases of coronavirus started to rapidly spread across the globe.

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