Reports of the death of cinema have been vastly overblown — according to director James Cameron, that is.

While the pandemic changed the business model for Hollywood movies, Cameron took to the stage at the London premiere of “Avatar: The Way of Water” to declare that the cinematic experience is back and as healthy as ever.

“Thanks for coming. I don’t know about you, this is a pretty surreal moment for me that we are done with the film,” Cameron told the audience at London’s Odeon West End theatre, as reported by Deadline.

READ MORE: Kate Winslet Holds On To James Cameron As Pair Reunite At ‘Avatar: The Way Of Water’ Photocall

“Five years of production and five years spanning a really dark period,” Cameron continued.

“The pandemic hit, we were shut down completely. I was despairing this art form I love that I dedicated four decades to was over. We finally got back to work but we didn’t know if there would be movie theatres. Was it over? But here we are,” said Cameron.

“Theatres are full again and moviegoers of the world have declared resoundingly that we need this,” Cameron added. “We need this ability to gather together to sit in these great dark spaces and to dream together with our eyes wide open in a cinema. To me tonight is not about a new Avatar film. It’s about cinema, and here you are in your black-tie finery. It’s a celebration of this art form that we love so much. It’s back it’s alive and it’s as great as it’s ever been.”

Released in 2009, the original “Avatar” grossed $2.9 billion at the worldwide box office to become the highest-grossing film of all time.