Metropolitan Theatres to reopen two cinemas on June 26
It has been a few months without cinemas, but Metropolitan Theatres is about to start reopening locations June 26 with Camino Real Cinemas in Goleta and Metro 4 Theatres in Santa Barbara.
Films that will play at the theaters during their opening week include the recent releases “Knives Out,” “I Still Believe,” “The Wretched,” “Midway,” and older crowd pleasers such as “The Goonies,” “Ready Player One” and “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
Natalie Eig, the Metropolitan Theatres vice president of marketing and communications, told the News-Press movies that releases were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Movies such as “A Quiet Place Part II” won’t be playing during the opening week as they now have new release dates.
Movies coming to the soon-to-be reopened theaters include “Unhinged,” set for release on July 1; “The Broken Heart Gallery” on July 10; “Tenent” on July 20; the Disney film “Mulan” on July 24 and “Wonder Woman 1984” on Aug. 14.
According to a news release from the theater chain, the locations will have safety procedures such as reduced seating capacity in screening rooms, social distancing markers for guests waiting in lines, and heightened employee safety procedures.
In addition to washing their hands at the start of their shifts and regularly throughout the day, staff members will get their temperatures taken before starting work and will wear proper protective equipment like masks and gloves during their shifts.
To promote contactless payment for tickets, the theaters recommend their guests purchase tickets online and have them scanned at the door upon entry. Reduced contact with customers will also be practiced at the concession stands, as employees have been trained in food-handling protocols for limited contact.
For instance, self-serve soda machines will be operated by theater staff if possible or closed if not. New cups and popcorn containers will be handed out for refills, and self-serve condiment stations will be closed. Guests can ask theater staff for condiments at the concession stands.
Social distancing will be observed in theater auditoriums, with 6 feet separations between each guest or party. Every other row of seats will be empty and three empty seats will separate each party. Screening rooms with recliner seats will have two empty seats between parties, with every other row unoccupied.
Despite the severe strictures placed on audience sizes, Ms. Eig told the News-Press that the theater chain determined that operating under the required restrictions was a workable proposition. Thus, Metropolitan Theatres decided to begin the process of reopening.
“We worked along with the guidelines we did receive from them to create a safe experience for the moviegoer and the employee so we felt now was a good time to open,” she said.
Metro 4 is located at 618 State St. Camino Real Cinemas is at the Camino Real Marketplace, 7004 Market Place Drive, Goleta. For more information, go to metrotheatres.com.