York County movie theaters plan to reopen Friday with restrictions
Movie theaters in York County are making a big return Friday after being forced to shut their doors for five months due to COVID-19.
Queensgate Movies 13, Hanover Movies 16, Regal West Manchester and South York Cinema have movies scheduled to run starting Friday, offering both new releases and classic "throwback" films for moviegoers.
The entertainment industry has been hit hard during the pandemic shutdown, and movie theaters have pushed filmmakers to start releasing movies onto the big screen again in a last-ditch effort to stay afloat.
AMC, the largest movie theater chain in the U.S., and Regal, with more than 1,200 theaters between them, closed their venues March 17, Forbes reported. Other theaters followed quickly.
"Our bills continue on, and we've been closed since March," said Scott Cohen, the president and CEO of RC Theatres, which has eight locations on the East Coast. "For us, it's been extremely painful."
Cohen, who said RC Theatres had no choice but to lay off or furlough most employees due to financial losses the pandemic wrought, is hopeful that moviegoers will return to theaters feeling safe and comfortable.
RC Theatres, slated to open Friday, has two locations in York County: Queensgate Movies 13, at 2067 Springwood Road, and Hanover Movies 16, at 380 Eisenhower Drive in Hanover.
Following state guidelines, only 25 people will be allowed into one auditorium during a showing. In comparison, a typical RC Theatres auditorium can seat 100, Cohen said.
In an effort to minimize interactions among moviegoers between showings, there will be longer periods between movie starting times. Staff will be sanitizing all seats after each showing, doors will remain open to avoid excess touching, and masks will be required inside the building, Cohen said.
"We're doing a lot of our normal things, just more of it," Cohen said. "Our goal is to make sure everybody feels safe and is safe."
For the time being, RC Theatres will be showing new releases, including "Unhinged," "Tulsa" and "The New Mutants."
Other theaters, however, also plan to screen classic movies in an effort to bring in customers.
Regal Cinemas, with a location in West Manchester Town Center, will be offering showings of "Jurassic Park," "Lord of the Rings" and "Rocky" in addition to new releases.
Regal Cinemas has similar health and safety protocol measures in place, and is also mandating temperature checks for employees and offering a limited concessions menu.
"Reopening plans include a wide range of new health and safety measures that adhere to the latest CDC and public health guidelines, including innovative sanitization procedures, new social distancing protocols and mandatory mask policies," a statement from spokesperson Richard Grover reads.
Haar's Drive-In in Dillsburg has been showing second-run and classic movies all summer. The drive-in will show a double feature of "Bill & Ted Face the Music" and "Beetlejuice" this weekend.
Haar's Drive-In is located at 185 Logan Road. Interested individuals can purchase tickets in advance at www.haars.com/drive-in.
— Reach Tina Locurto at email@example.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.