PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Date night is saved!
The movie theatres are back but it will be a different kind of experience under the restrictions of COVID-19.
Closed since March, the theatre companies have taken major financial losses.
Cinemark estimates its losses at about $230 million.
So they are being very careful reopening to try and make sure customers feel safe.
Under Pennsylvania’s Health Department rules, each theatre is only allowed to seat 25 people.
But Chanda Brashears of Cinemark says they don’t stop there.
“We’re staggering showtimes and limiting capacities to ensure physical distancing throughout the theatre. We’ve also instituted a seat buffering technology which automatically blocks seats adjacent to your party when booking your ticket. So if you are coming with your party of four, you would block the seats that you wanted and it will automatically block seats to your left and to your right as well as in front and behind as necessary.”
You will notice all employees wearing facemasks and gloves and Brashears says, “We are also making facemasks mandatory for all guests, of course, guest can remove their masks in the theatre to enjoy their favorite movie-going snacks. We are disinfecting every auditorium every morning and again before every showtime and we are disinfecting all hard surfaces every thirty minutes.”
While the self-serve element of the concessions area has remained mostly intact precautions have been put in place.
However, you won’t be able to butter your own popcorn, an employee will have to do that for you.
Initially, the only new movie in the theatres will be Russell Crowe’s “Unhinged”, but more are coming.
The new movies will be at the traditional ticket cost, while discount tickets are being offered for movie classics showing on the big screens to get customers back into the theatres.
With only 25 people in an auditorium at a time, and spread out Brashears says Cinemark believes people will be comfortable.
She points out the primary spread of the virus comes from talking and in a theater, everyone is facing the same direction and not talking which should lower the risk.