Movie theaters around New Jersey can reopen today. What it means for the smaller ones

Movie theaters around New Jersey will be allowed to reopen today, and for the first time in months, you can see a movie in person, which may be good news for movie goers, but not necessarily for owners of smaller theaters.

News 12 Staff

Sep 4, 2020, 1:44 PM

Updated 1,326 days ago

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Movie theaters around New Jersey will be allowed to reopen today, and for the first time in months, you can see a movie in person, which may be good news for movie goers, but not necessarily for owners of smaller theaters.
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Many theater owners are crunching the numbers and discovering opening their rooms to 25% capacity makes zero financial sense, and in the case of private theater owners, it's even more pronounced.
The owner of the ShowRoom Cinemas in Bradley Beach and Asbury Park, Mike Sodano, says selling tickets to seven people to match the guidelines is a losing proposition.
“It just doesn’t work,” says Sodano. “They would have to buy an awful lot of popcorn to make it work.”
At both locations, they specialize in smaller, more intimate theater settings -- one room barely large enough to hold 30 people per screening. On top of that, Sodano says trying to reopen his theaters with just four days’ notice, after sitting idle for five months, is impossible.
“There’s a double edge problem with that,” says Sodano. “We were given the go ahead with three days to go, so it’s tough to push that boulder up a hill. We’ve been closed since March, and now we are magically supposed to open.”
Sodano says he needs at least 50% capacity allowed before he can make that first batch of popcorn.
“We may not be able to hang on much longer,” says Sodano.
Chain theaters will open select locations today in New Jersey.  Bow Tie Cinemas announced showings of the movie “Tenet” at selected locations. The AMC chain, with 27 multiplex locations throughout New Jersey, will also begin opening today its two locations at the Jersey Gardens and in Wayne. Seven more will open Monday, and 18 next Thursday.
Regal Cinemas also announced select openings at theaters today, beginning with 11:50 a.m. showings in certain places.


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