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Movie theaters looking forward to bigger movies and bigger crowds

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK)—Memorial Day weekend is traditionally a big one when it comes to going to the movies. It is the kick-off of the summer “blockbuster” season. After being closed or on limited schedules for more than a year due to the pandemic things are finally getting back to normal.

According to the National Research Group, which has tracked movie-goers for decades, the number of people who feel comfortable returning to the movies is growing significantly.

“I think they are using ‘A Quiet Place Part II’ to test that. We’ve got a Quiet Place II and ‘Cruella’ came out,” explained Michael Tawney, General Manager at Park Place Stadium Cinemas in downtown Charleston, WV. Park Place re-opened in the fall of 2020. But now, for the first time since the pandemic shut things down, they will be open again seven days a week.

Inside the theaters, every other row is still blocked off and they want groups to sit at least three seats apart.

“Be respectful of your people. Be respectful of your neighbors. Give everybody their space. There’s really not a lot of people coming to the theater. So there is plenty of room for everybody to sit wherever they want to,” Tawney said, adding that they’ve been working with the Kanawha Charleston Health Department to make certain the theater is doing everything right. In another new move, they are finally able to open the self-serve concession areas.

When it comes to masks if visitors want to wear one, they can. But if people are fully vaccinated they don’t have to wear a face covering.

Tawney said it is a exciting time for their team.

“Because there are tons of regulars that we have that we haven’t seen for a long time. When you finally see them come back in that feeling of normalcy helps out a lot,” Tawney said.

Park Place Cinemas will still be on a limited schedule Monday through Thursday until things pick up more.

But this Monday, Memorial Day, they will be open the entire day.

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