CinemaCon Moves to Late August 2021 Amid Ongoing Pandemic and Uncertain Theatrical Landscape

Mitch Neuhauser 2 - Getty - H 2019
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for CinemaCon

The annual gathering of theater owners and Hollywood studios is normally held in the spring (the 2020 edition was scrubbed altogether).

The 2021 CinemaCon theater owners confab, originally scheduled for April 26-29 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, has has been moved to Aug. 23-26, 2021, due to COVID-19.

The announcement cited ongoing international travel restrictions and limits on large gatherings caused by the pandemic as the reason to postpone the confab, which was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Theater owners and Hollywood studios continue to face an uncertain future in terms of when moviegoing will begin to resemble something close to normal. While the 2021 release calendar is cholk-full of tentpoles — many of which were supposed to open this year — there could be further changes to next year’s slate if theater closures continue both domestically and overseas (in the U.S., 55 percent to 60 percent of theaters remain off line, including in New York City and Los Angeles). The CinemaCon announcement underscores this uncertainty.

With pandemic numbers currently rising in many countries, theater owners remain fully occupied with re-opening the industry, the studios are in many cases still working from home, and vendors need to have certainty to plan their attendance," the CinemaCon announcement also stated.

“With all the travel, logistical, and capacity concerns for the convention, our 7,500 attendees, vendors, and studio distribution partners, we couldn’t guarantee we could present the kind of show the industry expects in April,” said CinemaCon managing director Mitch Neuhauser in a released statement. “In close consultation with our studio and industry partners, we are rescheduling CinemaCon for August, when we think we can put on the kind of showcase we do best, and celebrate the moviegoing experience with the entire industry.”