According to the decree-law that regulates the current state of emergency, it is forbidden to eat and drink inside cinemas.
“In the areas of consumption of cafeterias, restaurants and beverages of these cultural facilities, the guidelines defined by DGS [Directorate-General for Health] for the catering sector must be respected, with the consumption of food or beverages not allowed inside”, reads in the diploma that regulates the application of the state of emergency.
For the director general of FEVIP - Portuguese Association for the Defense of Audiovisual Works, Paulo Santos, this was “the icing on the cake to end the business”, after the evening sessions (which represented 40 percent of box office receipts) and at the weekend starting at 1 pm, since the revenues of bars (which normally represent one third of the total), were currently many times higher than those at the box office.
This means that it was the sale of popcorn and soft drinks that was helping to keep the cinemas open and in operation, but now with this ban, many cinemas will close, even the big ones, who find themselves unable to pay rent, said Paulo Santos.
“It seems to us that this decision will be the direct and appropriate cause for the premature closure of some that were cinemas, because there is no support being shown and the credit lines that were created are not being applied in most cases to cinemas”, said Paulo Santos.
The official also warns of the possible unconstitutionality of the measure, since it is not being applied equally in different sectors.
“Whoever made this decision forgot something very important. On airplanes you can eat without social distance, in restaurants you can eat with less social distance than what exists inside the movie theatres, because the seating arrangement is done diagonally, with no front and rear seats, which always leaves a space never les than 1.80 metres / 2 metres, it seems to me that the principle of equality has been violated which is extremely serious”.