MOOSIC, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A long-awaited sign of normalcy is returning to northeastern Pennsylvania. despite the pandemic.
Cinemark is reopening its theatre Friday in Moosic for the first time since March. It has been a long four months at Cinemark, but the theater chain says this site is now ready to reopen after taking the necessary COVID safety precautions. The question now: are movie-goers ready as well?
Workers wearing masks and gloves made some of the final preparations on the eve of Cinemark in Moosic opening its doors once again to the public. The chain which has suffered tens of millions of dollars in losses during the pandemic says it’s safe to go to the movies after implementing enhanced cleanliness and safety measures.
Eyewitness News requested a first-hand look and interview but got the next best thing: video from Cinemark which demonstrates COVID safety steps the chain is taking.
“From the moment you first step back through our doors until when you leave following the end credits, it will be clear that we are changing how we work,” Cinemark CEO Mark Zoradi said.
Cinemark says besides deep cleaning the theater, it will sanitize high contact areas and rest rooms every half-hour, require all staff to wear safety gear and guests to mask up, and create social distancing between movie goers.
“We love the movies. I have a seven-year-old son so he is definitely into the movie popcorn experience,” Kristen Cunningham of Nanticoke said.
But she doesn’t feel real comfortable with the idea of sitting in one of those comfy movie recliners.
“You know, I would really love to but I think that just being enclosed with so many people for two hours or longer, I think I would have high anxiety,” Cunningham said.
Two teenagers who help make up a very large movie-going demographic have their own reservations about returning right away.
“I will wait a little bit after it has opened to see how everything is going and then I will see how it is,” Jill Taleroski of Mountain Top said.
They say it will take more than the lure of proven movies of the past, billed as Cinemark Comeback Classics, as well as discount pricing on movie tickets and some concessions items.
“With everything like Netflix and Hulu and all that, people might just not want to go to movies anymore and just watch them in their house but I don’t know. Hopefully, they can figure something out,” Julia Johnson of Mountain Top said.
We will find out soon enough if movie-goers are ready to return. The first flick out of the gates: a 3:10 p.m. showing of the 1997 comedy classic, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
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