How are Australian cinemas reacting to COVID-19

• Mediaweek has collected responses from Palace Cinemas, Hoyts, and Event Cinemas.

After the advice given by the Australian Government on Wednesday the 18th of March regarding non-essential services and public gathering mandates, the Australian movie industry has had to react accordingly to adapt to the fluid situation and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mediaweek has collected responses from Palace Cinemas, Hoyts, and Event Cinemas.

Palace Cinemas

Palace Cinemas will temporarily close all locations from Thursday the 19th of March for an indefinite period.

Patrons who have booked online for future sessions will be offered a returnable form to receive a full refund. Any patrons seeking refunds for in-person bookings can email their relevant Palace Cinema location with images of their tickets, and a refund form will be provided to be completed and returned. 


Hoyts have placed a limit on the number of bookings that can be made blocking out any additional seats to ensure that there will be no more than 99 people per auditorium. In addition, it has blocked out seats in auditoriums to ensure guests will have appropriate spacing between them and the next person.

The company has also included a virus cleaning agent at high touchpoint areas and surfaces, reminders in all toilets for patrons to wash their hands, regular seat cleaning between sessions and ongoing communication with site managers to regularly remind staff of the importance of maintaining good hygiene practices.

Event Cinemas

All cinemas are regularly cleaned and maintained during operating hours, with professional cleaning teams conducting detailed cleans every night, in each location. Cleaning and sanitising processes have also been increased as well as a higher frequency of surface cleaning and sterilisation in public areas.

Seating maps have been reconfigured to ensure the adequate distance between guests in every session with a capacity limit of 100 guests. 

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