Movies Theaters: Worth It or No?

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  • Entrance to the Cinemark located at the Antelope Valley Mall.

  • A look at the way theaters are now checking tickets to keep us safe.

  • The new and improved way to buy snacks from the concession stand inside the theater.

  • Signs that line the halls of the movie theater, giving tips on how to stay safe while enjoying the movie.

With everything slowly returning to normal, we’ve seen numerous changes happening not just in our town but all over the state, country, and world. Along with theme parks and in-door dining, movie theaters all over the state have been allowed to reopen in the past two months.

It’s an exciting time for many individuals, as theaters open and long-awaited movies are finally released. The reopening brings many questions and curiosity. This is why I decided to find answers to the question that everyone has been thinking about: are movie theaters worth it during the pandemic?

This past weekend, my family and I decided to go and see a movie on the big screen. While it was exciting to finally be able to go and see a movie, it was also quite nerve-racking. I had no idea what to expect, and what I found was honestly anti-climatic. When I entered the building everything was normal, no big change or anything out of the ordinary. The only difference was what we’ve become used to; masks and social distancing. Sadly, the movie theater no longer gives free refills either.

Aside from the few changes, everything about movie theaters seems to remain the same as before it was closed. If it weren’t for mandatory masks, I would have thought that movie theaters had finally become more sanitary.

Some safety precautions for movie theaters:

Everyone is required to wear a mask unless they are eating or drinking.
Social distance is enforced inside the theatre and while waiting in line for snacks.
Bathrooms are cleaned every 30 minutes.
Seating areas are cleaned before and after use.
Tickets are now scanned instead of handed in.
The movie theatre now has a place to buy and receive your own tickets without contact.
Hand sanitizer stations are placed all throughout the building
Seat wipe stations are placed at the entrance of every theater.

As soon as my family sat down, it felt like we weren’t in the middle of a global pandemic, that we had just gone to see a movie and spend time together. Everyone respected the new rules and everything was well organized and clean. Yes there are changes, yes masks and social distancing are required, but all of these things are in place to protect us and help get us back to normal.

I haven’t been to a movie theater in over a year––that’s something I’m still processing. I don’t mind wearing a mask if it means that I can start participating in things I’ve missed. Being able to see a movie in an actual theater was something that I didn’t think would happen until later on this year. Now with vaccinations and the lowering number of cases, we are able to start our once normal lives again.

Which brings me to the original question: are movie theaters worth it during this time? My answer would be yes, I think they are. Ok yes, the current movies released aren’t exactly the best, but there are plenty of movies that are being released soon that are definitely worth watching in theaters. Sure there are no longer free refills, which is definitely a bummer. However, when you remember that you’re able to see an actual movie in a theater, something that was not possible a year ago, you forget all about free refills.