Only 50 people will be allowed in each theatre when Kootenay Centre Cinemas reopens this week. Photo: Betsy Kline

Kootenay Centre Cinemas set to reopen to public

The theatre will be operating at reduced capacity to mitigate threat of COVID-19

If you’re tired of watching movies all alone in your house, you’re in luck.

Kootenay Centre Cinemas in Castlegar is set to reopen to the public tomorrow.

Vice president Noel May said many precautions are being taken to reduce the threat of COVID-19 at the facility.

“People will only be able to watch the movie in alternating rows of the theatre. When a group of say four people buy their tickets, our system will also automatically make two seats on either side of that group unavailable,” said May.

“By doing this, we’ll be able to achieve physical distancing protocols set out by the provincial government.”

Only 50 people will be permitted in each of the theatre’s cinema rooms and lobby when it opens. Signs will also ask people to use hand sanitizer when they enter the facility and to remain six feet apart when they buy their tickets.

Staff will be cleaning seats and touch points between every show and staggering showtimes to reduce traffic at the facility.

People will be asked to exit the facility through the back of the auditorium when each film finishes.

Even with all the changes, May said people will still be able to enjoy popcorn while watching their favourite films.

“Our concession stand will remain open for visitors. Some of the precautions we’re taking there include having wrapped straws and handing out items like napkins to people. We don’t want there to be any touch points for visitors,” said May.

“Staff will be wearing masks when serving food and beverages. Our concession stand counter is almost four feet, which will also help staff and visitors to maintain physical distancing.”

Sonic, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Goonies, Deadpool and The Jungle Book will be playing at the theatre this week.

May said he couldn’t be more pleased to welcome people back into the facility.

“We’re super excited to finally have people back here. It’s been a really long go for us,” said May. “Entertainment has definitely been one of the hardest industries hit by COVID-19.”

Castlegar News has also reached out to The Castle Theatre as to when they might be reopening.

READ MORE: Castlegar COVID-19 cancellations and closures


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