Capital Region theaters welcome back movie goers

New York News

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Grab your ticket and popcorn because movie theaters in the Capital Region are officially back open! Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the green light for movie theaters to reopen at 25% capacity starting Friday. The movie theater industry is one of the last industries to open their doors since the COVID-19 pandemic shut them down.

On Friday at Regal Colonie Center & RPX, some customers just went to buy the popcorn! “I just really wanted popcorn. I’ve been waiting months for it,” says SUNY Albany student Tyler Ritchie.

Inside the theaters, staff and customers must wear a mask, unless if they’re eating or drinking. There is limited seating capacity, plexiglass is installed at the concession stands, and the arcade section remains closed.

“We have additional cleaning protocols in place. We spend more time cleaning inside the theaters. We give ourselves about and hour just to clean down the auditoriums after every show,” says Ashley Birkett, District manager of Regal Cinemas.

Even with these safety protocols in place, some people don’t feel comfortable going back to sit in front of the big screen. “I don’t trust it still. Sitting down in the theaters even though it’s the first day, especially with the leather seats… I don’t really know how well they can wipe those down,” says Tyler Ritchie.

Other movie goers are for it. “They seem pretty reasonable. I mean, it’s not really too much different than anywhere else we go. We’re already used to it at this point,” says Albany resident Richard Ragon. Richard is thrilled to be back at the movies. On Friday, he brought his 2-year-old daughter Lily to watch her very first movie at the theater. “We got pretty used to watching stuff at home. As soon as we saw that a movie like Monsters, Inc. was showing, we were like lets just go why not!”

Regal Crossgates & IMAX will operate normal hours, 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m., on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. During weekdays, Monday through Thursday, shows will not be run past 7:30 p.m. New 2020 movies to be shown include TenetThe New MutantsThe War with Grandpa, The Empty Man, Honest Thief, 2 Hearts, Unhinged and more. Seasonal movies will also be shown such as Monsters, Inc. and The Addams Family (2019) which will be available for $5.00 per ticket.

 In addition, 10 other Regal locations are set to open Friday across the state.

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