Two Metropolitan Theatre cinemas officially reopen for movies
Metropolitan Theatres finally opened two of its Santa Barbara area cinemas to the public on Friday following Santa Barbara County’s move into the red tier.
The two theaters now open for screenings are the Camino Real Cinema in the Camino Real Marketplace and the Fiesta 5 Theatres, located at 916 State St. They are both reduced to 25% capacity.
In an interview with the News-Press, Metropolitan Theatres president David Corwin expressed great pleasure that the theater chain has started opening back up.
“We’re certainly happy to be back in business,” he said.
Moviegoers felt the same way.
After stopping by Camino Real to inquire about tickets for a later screening, Santa Barbara resident Max Haws spoke to the News-Press and said theaters reopening was a sign of things going back to normal. Since his son was back from out of town, he and his family figured now it would be nice to catch a flick for the first time in a long time.
“We were thinking it might be a great opportunity to see a movie again since we haven’t gone to a theater in six months,” he said.
Ojai resident and Dos Pueblos high school culinary arts teacher Terri Ingram was at Camino Real to see “Tenet” and said the last time she saw a movie was when she was visiting Florida a few weeks ago. She remarked that seeing a movie on Friday felt “great” just as it did when she was in Florida.
On Friday, both Fiesta 5 and Camino Real played three showings in each of their auditoriums. These included one late afternoon showing and two evening showings. Over this weekend, the theaters will also have three showings per auditorium, but will have matinees as well as evening screenings.
According to Mr. Corwin, the two reopened theaters will have three screenings per auditorium on weekend days, and two screenings per auditorium on weekdays.
While Christopher Nolan’s thriller “Tenet” and the comedy “Save Yourselves!” are playing at both locations, Fiesta 5 exclusively has Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” and drama “The 40-Year-Old Version.”
Camino Real has the Marvel horror film “The New Mutants,” the thriller “Unhinged,” action flick “Ava,” and the Charles Dickens adaptation “The Personal History of David Copperfield.”
“You want some there to be some variety so there’s more than the same five movies at both ends of town,” Mr. Corwin said.
When it comes to new releases, Mr. Corwin said October is going to be a “pretty light” month. Next week it is expected to receive the Robert DeNiro family comedy “The War With Grandpa,” with horror film “The Wolf of Snow Hollow.” Action thriller “Honest Thief” is also scheduled to come out in October.
That said, Metropolitan Theatres’ calendar is currently in flux as movie distribution companies move their releases around in order to get the biggest possible audiences under the circumstances.
For instance, Metropolitan Theatres is expected to have a major release in November with the animated Disney movie “Soul.”
On Friday, it lost the release of the 25th James Bond film “No Time to Die” when it was announced the film’s release will be pushed to April 2021.
Whatever films Metropolitan Theatres manages to get a hold of, Mr. Corwin hopes the county moves into the next tier as soon as possible so the cinemas can increase to 50% capacity.
In order to attract more people into cinemas, Metropolitan Theatres is offering its discounted pricing normally reserved for Tuesdays from Sunday through Thursday, with members getting double points.
The reopened theaters are taking safety precautions such as every other row remaining empty, three seats separating parties, and disinfecting auditoriums after each screening. Theater guests are required to wear masks at all times except when eating and drinking while seated in auditoriums.