CLEVELAND — Moviegoers can return to Cleveland Cinema’s Chagrin location on Thursday after a months-long shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Everybody understood certainly at the time. And, you know, movie fans are disappointed, but what are you going to do whenever there's a national crisis? Everybody has to step up and do their part,” said David Huffman, director of marketing for Cleveland Cinemas.
Huffman said while they were closed, the community continued their support.
"A lot of the smaller independent distributors had kind of banded together and created a program called Virtual Cinema, which we are continuing to run even though we've opened up Chagrin Cinemas. We are going to keep our virtual screening room going, which allows people to watch a movie at home and still support their local cinema. We also, while we were closed, did a curbside concessions program for a little while where people could stop by the theater and pick up an order that they'd placed online for concessions. And we've had great support from our customers, from the curbside concessions and people buying gift cards while we were closed and watching a lot of movies through our virtual screening room," he said.
Chagrin Cinemas will play the 1989 comedy classic “Major League” at the reopening. It will roll out newer releases starting on Friday, including “Inception.”
The Cedar Lee location will open to the public on Friday.
Here are changes moviegoers will see at any Cleveland Cinemas locations:
- Masks will be required at all times unless you are eating or drinking.
- Different entrance flows, with guests leaving and exiting from two different places.
- Seating capacity will be reduced by 50%.
- Hand sanitizer will be available.
"So there's never gonna be somebody sitting in front or behind you. Plus, there's always gonna be at least two seats or six feet in between you and other patrons," Huffman said.
When asked if he anticipates any problems with people following the rules he said, "You know, it's hard to predict what anyone is going to say. But, I mean, you know, it's the same rules that everybody is enforcing.
Huffman said they are excited to welcome back guests after a long hiatus.
"We know the Cedar Lee Theater is such a Cleveland and cultural institution and an important part of people's lives. And all of our theaters are, you know, Chagrin Cinemas is a community theater. And right now we aren't opening up the Apollo Theater in Oberlin or the Capital or Tower City locations because there's just a variety of other reasons that are affecting those right now. So we just need to focus on the ones that we are opening, which is Cedar Lee and Chagrin. And we're excited to get back to serving those people in those communities."
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