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Russian Moviegoers ‘Not Ready for Dramas’ Amid Pandemic, Culture Ministry Says

Russia’s Culture Ministry lifted its nationwide ban on opening movie theaters, museums and other cultural establishments last week. Moskva News Agency

Russian cinemas will delay premiering heavy dramas after reopening because viewers “aren’t ready” for heavy dramas amid the coronavirus pandemic, authorities said Wednesday.

Russia closed down movie theaters, museums and other cultural establishments after the outbreak first hit the country in late March. Russia’s Culture Ministry lifted the nationwide ban last week, leaving it up to individual regions to decide when it would be safe to allow people to gather in confined spaces again.

Russia’s Culture Minister Olga Lyubimova said she spoke with producers who have decided to screen “light-hearted and simple” movies in the early stages of reopening, according to the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.

Lyubimova said she expects young people who “want simple interactions and dates in the movies” to be the first to flock to movie theaters.

“I think we’ll introduce dramas closer to the winter of 2021,” Lyubimova said.

Authorities in Moscow and the Moscow region gave movie theaters the green light to reopen starting Aug. 1.

The Culture Ministry’s guidelines advise cinemas to sell tickets that would allow viewers to maintain social distancing rules and require staffers to regularly change protective equipment.

Museums in Russia started gradually reopening in June, while theaters and concert halls are expected to reopen this fall.

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