DIS Signage outside the Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sunday, May 02, 2021. Roger Kisby | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Walt Disney executives will not be traveling to Las Vegas next month to attend the National Association of Theater Owners’ CinemaCon.
The company cited growing concern about the Covid-19 Delta variant , why it falls out of the annual meeting of cinema owners and Hollywood studios at Caesars Palace, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter. Disney will be showing one of its upcoming films instead of a staged presentation.
The news comes almost a week after NATO has Disney’s day and day Release date of “Black Widow”. It is unclear if this was a factor in the studio’s decision.
Representatives from Disney were not immediately available for comment.
CinemaCon has been a high profile event for a decade for studios, theater owners and the media to meet, network and exchange upcoming content and cinema innovations. However, the pandemic sidelined last year’s conference and could still affect this year’s event.
As of Friday, the rest of the major studios will continue to put on personal presentations, although fewer stars are expected attend for the four-day convention.
While NATO requires attendees to provide a vaccination certificate or negative Covid test within 48 hours of the event, many in the film industry have concerns about the recent surge in Coronavirus cases. Rumor has it that other studios that weren’t interested in participating prior to Disney’s departure might follow suit.
That was last week The White House declared southern Nevada, which also includes the city of Las Vegas, a “sustainable hotspot” for the virus. This means the area is experiencing a high number of cases and there is a risk that health care resources will be curtailed.
Los Angeles county officials have warned residents not to travel to Nevada and reinstituted mask requirement for indoor spaces for all vaccinated and unvaccinated persons. However, Las Vegas does not require tourists to wear masks indoors.
Representatives of the National Association of Theater Owners declined to comment.