Reopening of museums, theaters and cinemas? Culture holds its breath

Coronavirus: Restaurants and cinemas will close (Illustration) – JEANNE ACCORSINI / SIPA

“If the epidemic situation allows it, in mid-May, we are in a position to reopen the places of culture”, declared Friday Roselyne Bachelot, the Minister of Culture, on BFMTV and RMC. “Museums, theaters, cinemas at the same time? », Relaunched the journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin. “We will assess the situation in the finest and most appropriate way, gradually with strict compliance with precautionary measures and progressive gauges. The world of culture remains cautious about these announcements and these reopening options.

Cinemas closed for 200 days

“We are ready, we have been working since March with the Ministry of Culture on a gradual reopening, told AFP the general delegate of the Federation of Cinemas (FNCF), Marc-Olivier Sebbag. We are waiting for the top that the President of the Republic will probably give. On May 17th, theaters will be closed for 199 days, so you can imagine how we want to be ready. “

The answers are more nuanced for the performing arts. “The first thing is that all good news is good news. Symbolically, we can open mid-May, but we need certainty, comments producer Jean-Marc Dumontet, at the head of several Parisian theaters. It points to a horizon from mid-May. And uncertainties: we are asked to imagine shows with actors, with progressive approaches, it is not easy. Yes, we prefer to rack our brains and play. But, by necessity, it is vague. “

A festival is also a place of life

The tone is more serious in current music. Ms. Bachelot said she was confident about the holding of the Printemps de Bourges, at the end of June, chosen as part of the second part of the States General of festivals. An optimism that does not share the director of the event, Boris Vedel: “This is not the first time that someone has said that Spring will take place and that unfortunately it is postponed or canceled. A festival like ours cannot live with “yes, but”. Us, it is “we go there or not”. If we are told “from such and such a date and if and only if”, we will not be a suicide bomber, we do not want to crash the event. “

And to assert: “We cannot forget a reality of the implementation of a festival, which does not simply depend on that of a gauge. The schedule for resuming activities must be announced in the coming days, otherwise we will have to resolve to cancel ”. Without forgetting other parameters: “We need acceptable constraints, because a festival is not a cinema screening, we spend hours on a site, it is a place of life. And if ever the constraints are acceptable for Printemps but not for other festivals, the touring plan of certain artists would be broken and they could cancel their visit ”.

The reopening frame is not stabilized

The word “uncertainty” also comes up with Malika Seguineau, of Prodiss, union of musical and variety shows: “If a recovery phase is confirmed in mid-May in sitting with 35% of gauge, for the private model, it is is complicated. The minister’s declarations are insufficient, the framework is not stabilized ”.

In addition, Roselyne Bachelot ensures that the concert-test of Bercy, constantly postponed, could take place within two weeks. “The project is launched, the fortnight is undoubtedly for the decision on the budgetary component, but for the date it is rather on the end of May”, specifies Malika Seguineau. Regarding the cost, the minister unveiled an invoice of 900,000 euros, while Bercy is loaned free of charge. “We are talking about the scientific budget here, because the concert production part is assumed by the pros of the sector and the artists do not ask for any fees,” she clarified.

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