APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – Appleton’s Marcus Valley Grand Cinema is one of six Marcus Theatre locations reopening on June 19, according to a Thursday release.
Marcus Theatres has unveiled its plan to reopen theatres, starting with six locations – three theatres in southern Wisconsin, one in Nebraska, and one in Georgia. These locations “feature enhanced protocols in accordance with current local health and safety guidelines, and will help fine-tune future phases of theatre reopenings.” Other locations are set to open in time for summer blockbusters, based on when studios release new films.
“We continue to prioritize the safety and well-being of Marcus Theatres and Movie Tavern by Marcus guests and associates, and have been very thoughtful about the reopening process we are implementing,” said Rolando Rodriguez, chairman, president and CEO of Marcus Theatres. “We know people are eager to return to theatres for movies on the big screen provided they feel confident that we’ve created a safe and comfortable environment – and that consumer confidence is very important to us. The steps are in place, associates are trained, and we are now ready and excited to welcome guests back.”
As part of its initial reopening stage, Marcus Theatres is introducing its “Movie STAR” approach that incorporates new health and safety measures. The approach encourages everyone to be a Movie STAR and play a role in creating a safe environment by social distancing, thorough cleaning, using the app and website to order tickets, food and concessions adapted for no-to-low contact interactions, and respecting each other by folowing the new protocols.
The company says policies and guidelines will evolve with time and will be assessed and updated on an ongoing basis.
Here’s a look at the additional measures being taken that you’ll notice at the theatre:
- Wellness checks will be conducted for employees. Employees will be asked to use face masks and gloves during their shift.
- Guests will be encouraged to wear face masks in public areas and stay home if sick.
- Low-contact options for ticket and concessions/food purchases will be available through the app and website
- An increased frequency of cleaning, especially high-touch surfaces, will be implemented
- Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the theatre
- In-theatre signs will encourage proper social distancing
At first, Marcus Theatres says its locations will only be open on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Tuesdays with limited hours and an expectation to return to seven days per week in the future. Locations, initially, will open in the late morning and close early in the evening.
Movies that were popular when theatres closed will be featured for reopening including Sonic the Hedgehog, Bad Boys for Life, Jumanji: The Next Level, The Invisible Man, and more. Retro classic movies will also be shown, starting with the Harry Potter Series on June 19.
Upon reopening every movie will cost $5 with no upcharges. When new movies are released, standard pricing will apply.
Concession stands will be open, serving the traditional menu of popcorn, soda, candy, nachos, and more. Low-contact food ordering will be highly encouraged through the Marcus Theatres app and website. In-theatre dining auditoriums will not have delivery to seats at first. Food orders will be picked up in a designated area. Menus will stick to favorites, like appetizers, pizzas, chicken tenders, and burgers.
Theatre bars and lounges will be open, but table service will be temporarily unavailable. Drinks will be welcome in auditoriums. Zaffiro’s restaurants will open with proper spacing between tables, a maximum of six guests per party, and other safety enhancements in alignment with theatre practices and local government guidelines.
Marcus Theatres says guests will still reserve seats. A checkerboard seating pattern and a couple of empty seats between groups will allow for proper social distancing, in accordance with the CDC. While capacity will be limited, groups can be seated together upon arrival at the theatre and in accordance with regulations.
Staggered showtimes will limit the number of people in common areas of the theatre and additional time between shows will allow for staff to thoroughly clean. After the movie, guests will be asked to exit while practicing social distancing between groups, dispose of all trash, and avoid congregating in the lobby.
“While our theatres have been on intermission these past few months, we’ve been creative about how to maintain the connection with our guests,” added Rodriguez. “Offering curbside pickup and online ordering of theatre favorites like popcorn and treats, and introducing three Parking Lot Cinemas helped do just that. We were also hard at work enhancing our app and website to make it easy to order food – even before you get to the theatre. And, now it’s time to reconnect with the community at the movies. The process may look a little different to start, but it doesn’t take away from the excitement of bringing back the theatre-going experience and seeing our valued guests. We can’t wait!”
For more details on the reopening process and the complete list of theatres open and preparing to reopen, visit MarcusTheatres.com/ReOpening.