Texas Theaters Reopen After Coronavirus Shutdowns – Variety


A handful of film theaters in San Antonio and Austin, Texas, are set to reopen within the coming days, offering an early take a look at case for coronavirus safety measures.

EVO Leisure plans to open two theaters on Monday utilizing “airport security-style check-in,” says CEO Mitchell Roberts. Friends will enter a cordoned space close to the entrance door, the place they are going to be requested if they’re anybody of their family have had flu signs within the final 14 days. They will even be subjected to an infrared temperature screening, with anybody over 100.four levels turned away.

“I really feel prefer it’s actually vital for our friends to come back in and see what we’re doing to guard them,” Roberts says. “The main focus is on incomes that buyer confidence again.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott allowed theaters to reopen starting on Friday at 25% capability, as a number of states across the nation have loosened their coronavirus restrictions. Regardless of that, the overwhelming majority of theaters in Texas and elsewhere — together with all the main chains — have remained closed, citing the shortage of recent films to point out and the challenges of offering a secure expertise.

In San Antonio, nevertheless, Santikos Leisure will open three of its 9 places on Saturday, making it one of many first operators within the nation to open its doorways. The chain will display Common’s “Trolls World Tour,” which has been enjoying at drive-ins and on VOD for $19.99, in addition to a number of different movies, like “The Hunt,” that got here out simply earlier than the shutdown.

“We’re working extra for psychological worth than web earnings,” says CEO Tim Handren. “That’s what theaters are for — an escape. We’re going to supply that escape.”

Handren says the staff on the three places — the Palladium, Casa Blanca, and Cibolo theaters — are wanting to get again to work.

“It’s gonna be extremely, extremely secure,” he says. “We’re going to be a finely tuned machine with all of the protocols which are required.”

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The Santikos Palladium Theater in San Antonio
Courtesy of Santikos Leisure

Each EVO and Santikos are charging discounted costs — $5 a ticket ($three for youngsters at EVO.) They’ve every reconfigured their meals service to scale back touch-points, and eradicated money transactions. Employees will put on masks and gloves. The theaters can have spaced seating, with each different row empty and teams seated at the least six toes aside.

At EVO, clients can be required to put on masks, whereas on the Santikos theaters, it’s solely inspired.

“If we see dangerous actors, we’re going to remind them what social distancing means,” Handren says. “If we really feel prefer it’s an issue, we’ll require it.”

EVO is opening its theaters in Schertz, outdoors San Antonio, and Kyle, outdoors Austin, on Monday. The plan is display classics like “The Goonies,” alongside more moderen releases comparable to “Sonic the Hedgehog” and native favorites like “American Sniper.”

“We’re optimistic, feel-good stuff,” Roberts says. “Everybody has the identical programming mantra — traditional movies, good, standard stuff.”

Santikos — which serves a largely Latino viewers — can also be operating “Selena,” the 1997 biopic starring Jennifer Lopez. Handren stated that to this point, about 20% of the out there seating for the upcoming reveals has been offered on-line.

“We get to measure how tepid is demand going to be,” he says. “I feel we’re seeing it’s going be OK.”


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