Infectious DiseaseQuick Review

Will California’s Economy Last?

from article from

Recently, COVID-19 cases has been on the rise here in California. Reopened stores are now closed again, and there are people patrolling outside to check if everyone is following the new policy for putting on masks. Death rate is still on the rise and many of the businesses are either closed or out of business. I found an interesting article from bbc about the future of California’s businesses, including Hollywood’s film industry.

But hidden behind the plywood is hope – Orly Dahan is surveying his empty shop window. But when I ask him if he’s had to shut down, he says this is his new premises. He is expanding.

Even though his fashion retail and manufacturing business Gold Hawk is down by 90%, he says now is the time to strike good deals with commercial landlords. Recovery will come, he says, and when it does he will be ready for it.

But in Hollywood where the film industry would normally contribute some $50bn (£38bn) to the Californian economy, hope is not currently in plentiful supply.

Cinemas have “To be continued….” signs above the doorways. Some theatres now have homeless people sleeping in the entryways – a bit of shade off the sidewalk in buildings that haven’t been open for months. It is unlikely that they’ll have to make their beds elsewhere anytime soon.

There had been high hopes that the release of Christopher Nolan’s time bending science fiction film Tenet would be the one to lure audiences away from their sofas and streaming services and back into cinemas.

People say they are dying to see it. But when Warner Brothers seriously wondered would they? Should they? The release date was pushed, then postponed indefinitely before they announced it will now debut internationally at the end of August before opening in select cities in North America at the beginning of September. It is an attempt at salvaging a summer release, traditionally Hollywood’s most lucrative season.

There are fears among producers and directors that the film industry could be pushed out of Hollywood permanently. Some productions have already relocated to states and countries with a lower case count.

But economist Larry Harris from the University of Southern California says those fears are overstated. California is uniquely placed geographically with desert, beach and city shots readily available. It has a huge talent pool and a plethora of studios.

But it’s also the weather, and the light, particularly LA’s fabled “magic hour” around sunset which casts golden hues over the hills and valleys that first lured and will hopefully keep filmmakers here.

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