Illustration for article titled Opening Movie Theaters? During COVID-19? Spike Lee Says Hell to Da Naw
Photo: Tristan Fewings (Getty Images)

The entertainment industry is facing the devastation brought on by COVID-19 head-on. With concerts and music festivals being canceled, Broadway having its lights out until at least June, and a slew of film release dates being pushed back or canceled entirely, many are wondering when the industry will be able to recover whenever the dust begins to settle. To make matters worse, entertainers such as jazz musicians Ellis Marsalis and Manu Dibango died from complications stemming from the illness.

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Hollywood is, of course, feeling this pandemic’s sting pretty hard, but those involved in the filmmaking industry are not in a rush to get people’s butts back into movie theater seats.

Vanity Fair asked a slew of film professionals for their thoughts about cities opening movie theaters and easing quarantine and social distancing restrictions, including Oscar winner Spike Lee, who is not about that life.

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In an email sent to the publication, Lee said “Open Movie Theatres Now? Hell To Da Naw. I Got Alot More Movies To Make, Not Rollin’ Da Dice Wit’ Da Only Life I Got.” He also added, “TESTING. TESTING And Mo’ TESTING.”

Well, there you have it. If Spike Lee says don’t open movie theaters, make sure you Do The Right Thing and listen to him. According to the article, Lee’s next film is the Chadwick Boseman-led war drama Da 5 Bloods, which will be available for streaming on Netflix.

It appears that Hollywood is getting along without movie theaters just fine. Many production companies and film studios are either pushing film release dates back several months, or opting to partner with streaming services to drop their projects. For instance, the animated film Trolls World Tour became available for digital rental via Amazon Prime Video on April 10, while the Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani comedy The Lovebirds, which was originally scheduled for release in theaters on April 3, will premiere on Netflix May 22.

Music and culture journalist. Pronounced "Jay-nuh."

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