Like a story in a low budget horror movie, the corona-virus outbreak is having a dramatic impact on the movie industry. Theaters in New York and Los Angeles have been shuttered, premieres have been cancelled and major industry events like SXSW and Cannes are being cancelled or postponed. Production has largely been halted, although some development and post-production work is being done remotely. On-location filming has been halted within Los Angeles County by order of local authorities. Film permits are being denied for shooting after March 20th. The impact is worldwide. In China some 70,000 theaters were closed. 
 
Shows with audiences like Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show have been put on hiatus. Theme parks such as Disneyland have been shut down. Travel abroad has been severely restricted. 
 
Perhaps the only benefit might be an increase in home viewing from all those stuck at home and bored. Some movies are skipping the theatrical window or being released early, before the customarily 90-day window between theatrical exhibition and digital release.   Disney’s animated feature “Onward” will launch on its subscription service on April 3 in the U.S., only two weeks since “Onward'” premiered in theaters.
 
It is difficult to predict the long-term consequences of the virus, but it will not be good for many small businesses like restaurants and those in the travel industry. Production companies and those servicing them such as caterers will be also hurt. Netflix has established a 100-million-dollar relief fund to help workers hit by the shutdown.

The Law Offices of Mark Litwak & Associates is continuing to operate, although our lawyers are mostly working remotely from home. We have the ability to log on to our work computers remotely, as well as conduct conference calls and video conferences.
 
The Mayor of Los Angeles has ordered that all persons must isolate themselves at their residences, subject to certain exceptions for those engaged in essential activities. These essential activities include: visiting a health or veterinary care professional, obtaining medical supplies or medication, obtaining grocery items (including, without limitation, canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supplies, fresh or frozen meats, fish, and poultry, any other household consumer products and products necessary to maintain the safety and sanitation of residences and other buildings) for their household or for delivery to others, or for legally mandated government purposes. Certain activities are exempt, such as first responders, police and healthcare workers.
 Mayor’s order.

The Impact on the Industry