LOS ANGELES – Arnold Schwarzenegger sang enthusiastically: “We’re back! We’re back! ”Before speaking on Wednesday about the importance of revitalizing the theater experience for moviegoers.

“Now it’s time to get back on the big screen,” Schwarzenegger told a socially distant audience at the AMC Century City 15 theater in Los Angeles.

The actor and former California governor has received support from filmmakers and major Hollywood studio managers as part of the Big Screen is Back initiative. Other speakers included JJ Abrams, Maggie Q, Sam Richardson, Janicza Bravo and David Bruckner.

“If you have the movie and you don’t have the theater, you have nothing,” said Schwarzenegger. “Yes, we saw last year in the pandemic people watch movies on their little iPhone and iPad and put on their glasses to see what’s going on. You are missing special and visual effects and all the great things you normally see on the big screen. “

The meeting was one of the first in-person events for the industry to showcase the biggest upcoming projects. The three-hour event also included film clips and trailers from Disney, Sony and other studios.

Extended footage was shown by Warner Bros. ‘”In the Heights”, Disney’s “Cruella”, Universal “F9”, Paramount’s “Snake Eyes” and Aretha Franklin’s biography “Respect” by MGM Studios / United Artist Releasing.

Each speaker encouraged a return to theaters as the industry rebounds after the pandemic created life without theater about a year ago.

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