ORANGE VILLAGE, Ohio — While other movie theater chains are pushing back their plans to reopen, Silverspot Cinema welcomed customers Friday for the first time in more than four months.
“We feel very comfortable reopening,” said Jim Russo, General Manager, Silverspot Cinema.
Russo said they have several protocols in place to make sure moviegoers can escape reality without the risk.
“I think the biggest thing we can do is just demonstrate it. All of our employees doing the right safety procedures, everyone’s wearing gloves, everyone is wearing a mask,” said Russo.
Russo is not only limiting the number of employees on hand each day, but also the menu options available and seats in each theater.
Each theater typically holds up to 90 people.
However, when someone buys their ticket, a computer system will automatically block the surrounding seats to ensure proper social distancing.
So for now, the theaters will only seat between 25 and 30 people.
“We feel we have the experience down where it’s very comfortable, very safe for everyone who comes in,” said Russo.
In the lounge area, tables and chairs are separated and customers can have a contactless experience using their phones to order food, drinks as well as tickets.
“If we provide that experience just one person at a time I think we will earn the trust of people saying, 'Wow that was a great experience. I feel really good. 'So I think more than anything we need to demonstrate that we’re following the certain COVID protocols,” Russo said.
Jason Brown was among the first customers to return.
“There’s always risk, right?” asked Brown.
We caught up with the Cleveland Heights man after he bought tickets for his family to see The Jungle Book on Saturday.
“All the rules and regulations that they could put in place I feel they have to make me feel safe,” said Brown.
Brown said businesses like Silverspot Cinema can only do so much to help ensure safety.
“It’s up to us to make sure we keep ourselves distanced, you can’t count on an establishment to do that for you,” said Brown.
For now, Silverspot is showing three older films with limited hours.
“We just literally put our movies on sale Wednesday and we’ve got about 50 tickets sold for today,” said Russo.
The theater will be open Wednesday through Sunday each week.
“Pretty exciting to be able to get back out and enjoy dinner and the movies that are here,” said Brown.