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Business and Economy

B-N's Movie Theaters Set For Reopening

people in a movie theater
Mark Schiefelbein
The Marcus Theatres location in west Bloomington will reopen Friday after a long coronavirus shutdown.

For the first time in months, you’ll be able to go see a movie in Bloomington-Normal on Friday.

The Marcus Theatres location in west Bloomington will reopen Friday after a long coronavirus shutdown. A reopening curbside event Wednesday night led to cars lined up and down Wylie Drive looking to claim free giant bags of popcorn and movie passes.

State rules limit capacity to 50 guests or 50% of theater capacity—whichever is less. At Marcus Theatres, reserved seating will allow groups to sit together. There will be two empty seats between groups for social distancing. Marcus guests are encouraged to order concessions in advance.

“The safety and well-being of our guests and associates will always be our top priorities,” Rolando Rodriguez, chairman, president and CEO of Marcus Theatres, said in a statement. “We implemented our updated safety protocols at a few locations in late June and have been extremely pleased with the response from theatre-goers. In fact, we surveyed the very first guests back and more than 96% indicated it was a comfortable and safe experience. That customer confidence, combined with upcoming new movie releases, creates a great entertainment option at a time when we could all use an escape.”

The AMC Classic Normal 14 theater is scheduled to reopen Sept. 3. Its auditoriums will operate at 40% capacity or less.

Like Marcus, AMC has signed on as a member of the industry’s CinemaSafe protocols.

The Normal Theater in Uptown has not yet reopened but, as part of its reopening plan, is now surveying patrons about their comfort levels with attending in-person showings, wearing masks, and buying concessions. When the theater does re-open, it will run at a maximum capacity of 50 guests (out of around 400 seats).

One theater that will not be reopening is the Ovation Cinema Grill in far east Bloomington. It closed in March and will not reopen. Its parent company, New Vision Theatres, filed for bankruptcy.

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