With the arrival of June, cinemas in Beijing are still under lock down. Some industrial practitioners, such as 5 House and other organizations, have tried to carry out the Outdoor Movie Revival Project.
The organizers plan to show five films outdoors from June 1 to June 25, namely: June 1, Octave, June 6, Dries Van Noten, June 13, Arrhythmia, June 21, Cardboard Boxer, June 25, Ash Is Purest White.
The epidemic of the Covid-19 has caused heavy losses to China’s film industry. In 2019, the seven-day box office of the Spring Festival reached 5.84 billion, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the box office in 2019. However, in 2020, New Year’s Eve’s former Chinese cinemas almost had no audience due to the infecting risk. On March 27, Chinese cinemas received direct notice from the State Film Administration of China: business will maintain closing and business will be reopened until further notice.
The notice of resumption of business has not been issued so far. Although the industry judges that it will take a turn for the better soon, before that, eventful people have begun to organize events like the Outdoor Movie Revival Project.
Open-air movies are a special memory for older Chinese. At the beginning of and before the reform and opening up, most Chinese people in were too poor to afford watching a film, and most people did not have televisions and other facilities at home. At that time, occasional open-air movie screenings met the needs of many people to watch movies. This kind of informal, free or even cheap film shows occasionally appeared until the 1990s, but with China’s rapid economic development, cinemas have become affordable and widespread, therefore open-air screenings have become a thing of the past.
The film shown by Outdoor Movie Revival Project is also more literary and artistic, and it is easy to evoke the audience’s memories of the last era. Although the event is more like an art act than a commercial activity, it can demonstrate the demand and confidence of Chinese audiences and the Chinese film industry in a rapid resumption of business.