(Strasbourg) The Lodaisi Cinema in Strasbourg, one of France’s oldest cinemas, showed Tuesday its new air-purification equipment, a major investment for the foundation, which hopes to persuade viewers to return to theaters, when they reopen next week.
“As far as I know, we are the first cinema in France to equip ourselves with air purifiers,” director and programmer Farouk Gonaltai said during a press conference.
In the establishment’s large theater room, at the foot of a 1914 velvet curtain, two large, blackened mechanisms emit the faint sound of a bellows. There are two more in the back of the room, one in the balcony, the other in the small display room and the other in the entrance hall.
These seven air purifiers, clearly labeled “Here viruses and aerosols are filtered into the air”, cost 25,400 euros (about 35,850 Canadian dollars) for the cinema, including an annual budget of 700,000 euros (about 1 million Canadian dollars)).
“It allows the air to be re-purified six times an hour,” Faruk Gonaltai explained, ensuring that the machines ’breaths do not match the volume of the projections.
With a program of classic and somewhat well-known European films, “The Odyssey, being a very special cinema, has an interest in returning its audience by playing at all levels at the same time: its programming, but also an emphasis on security,” Jean-Paul Costa considered, Former president of the European Court of Human Rights and current president of the association that runs the Odyssey with a municipal mandate for public service.
He emphasized that installing air purifiers “should have a beneficial effect in encouraging viewers to return to the cinema.”
Because after 299 days of closing, if of course he is “very happy” with the reopening of cinemas on May 19, Faruk Gonaltai also expects an “obstacle course”.
Between the advent of summer, European football, curfews, and the fear of the virus spreading to some, “it is not certain that people are rushing into cinemas,” as the Odyssey director fears.
Christian Schump, technical director of the French company of the German group, explained that these air purifiers, which do not dispense with the usual wearing of the mask and the usual barrier gestures, “create an outdoor atmosphere as if your movie room is open to the sky.” Trotec, the manufacturer of these devices is more popular in Germany.
Agence France-Presse, contacted the National Confederation of French Cinema (FNCF), which had not been informed of the Odyssey initiative, and referred to the opinion issued by the Scientific Council on March 11th. This classifies cinemas, where people must be hidden, from afar and looking in the same direction, in places that are “low risk” for virus transmission, such as theaters or religious places.
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