MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Several industries in Minnesota have the green light to reopen on Monday, but not fully. One of those is the movie theater business.
Tom Letness said he was pleasantly surprised to even have 25% capacity; for him that means 70 customers in his Heights Theater in Columbia Heights. Even though he has the option to open next week, he says he’ll wait until the end of the month.
When people do come back, there will be assigned seating. Customers can sit with the people they came with, but will be socially distanced from others. Masks are required, except when eating.
Before the latest shutdown, Letness was playing mostly classic movies because there weren’t very many new releases coming out. Despite that, he was doing very well and he’s hoping to eventually get business back to where it was in 2019, which was a blockbuster year.
“I was super encouraged over the summer when I first opened. I thought I would have maybe five to ten people at the show. All of them are at 70. I’m very encouraged about the business long-term. We just have to get through this and get to the other end of it,” said Letness.
One reason he is encouraged is because Disney grossed about $13 billion at the box office in 2019. He also thinks by summer, if COVID numbers are down, people will be looking to get out and do things. A comparison he made is that people can cook at home, but they still want to go to restaurants.
He hopes it is the same philosophy with movie theaters.
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Source: CBS Minnesota