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State College Area Movie Theaters Plan Reopening

by on August 10, 2020 2:53 PM

The State College area's two multiplex movie theaters are getting set to reopen later this month.

UEC 9, 3031 Carnegie Drive, and UEC 12, 125 Premiere Drive, plan to open on Friday, Aug. 21, regional manager Anthony Smith said. Both theaters have been closed since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Patrons will be required to wear masks, except when eating or drinking while seated and socially distanced from other parties in a theater. Moviegoers without a mask can purchase one for $1 at the theaters. Screenings also will have reduced capacity in accordance with the targeted mitigation orders put in place by Gov. Tom Wolf's administration.

Signage for distancing will be in place throughout the theaters. Smith said that families or groups that arrive together may sit with each other, but that managers will check during screenings to ensure that separate parties are adequately distanced.

"It should be really easy to distance," Smith said. "Even normally if you only have 25 people in a theater, people naturally will distance from each other."

The theaters do not yet have options for reserving specific seats in advance, but Smith said that is in the works for the near future.

Fewer show times will be scheduled, allowing for enhanced cleaning in between screenings and avoiding congestion of people exiting multiple movies that end around the same time.

Monday through Thursday, movies will play starting at 4 p.m. with the final screenings at 8 p.m. Friday will be 4-10 p.m, and Saturday and Sunday noon-10 p.m. Doors will open 20 minutes before the first show times of the day and will close 15 minutes after the start of the last.

Old titles will be $5.50 for admission while new releases will be regular price. Tuesday is discount day with all movies $5.50 per person.

Smith said distributors have about one major release a week scheduled for the coming weeks, which is about typical for this time of year. 

The weekend of Aug. 21, "Unhinged" starring Russell Crowe will open. The following weekend "The New Mutants," based on the Marvel comics of the same name, will be released. Sept. 4 will see the opening of Christopher Nolan's "Tenet."

"We wouldn't be opening if there wasn't new product," Smith said. "The old movies are nice to have but they're not a big incentive for people to come out."

He added that a few UEC theaters elsewhere have been open since June and have provided a guide for reopening other theaters.

"There aren't a lot of entertainment options right now," Smith said. "We feel we can give a safe option."

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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