Restaurants and entertainment venues are beginning to reopen indoor spaces. Taking advantage of the relaxed restrictions of the green phase, the Boyertown State Theatre reopened this week screening classic blockbuster movies.
Although the theater is open, theater manager Shannon Anthony says they are being extra cautious. Staff undergo temperature checks before working, seating is staggered to promote social distancing, and sanitization measures have been increased.
The theater does look a little different on the inside. Yellow tape on the floor now directs patrons through a one-way lane, which passes the concession stand, travels into the seating area, and finally to exit the theater.
“We did a lot of research into how to re-open safely, looking at not only our own state, but others on the best practices” said Ken Shaw, Member of the Board of Directors. “We even made our own plexi screens for the bar and ticket booth. We’re a non-profit, so we are trying to save money where we can.”
Unlike other entertainment venues, movie theaters rely on the latest films to fuel ticket sales. According to Anthony, film distributors have push back the release dates of all “first run” movies until mid August.
“The film companies have helped us re-open by offering us sub-run films at a very discounted rates, so we can start to get people back in and comfortable with being in a theater” said Anthony. “We can now show classic movies like Jurassic Park, Jaws, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
“Our goal is to educate the public that we’re back open” said Shaw. “Our schedule is the same as before COVID. All we ask is you wear a mask and leave two empty seats between you and another group.”