“We’re Pumped.” Movie Theaters Excited to Reopen Despite Restrictions
For nearly three months, Emagine Theatres have sat relatively vacant due to an order by Governor Walz to limit the spread of COVID-19. A look inside Emagine’s Rogers location shows posters for films that didn’t make it to the big screen for their intended release date.
“This has been tough on everyone,” said Jake Mueller, director of operations for Emagine Theatres. “We really feel bad for the small mom and pop operations out there and hope that they can recover from all of this.”
Mueller says the company has been able to weather the coronavirus storm by selling movie theater popcorn for families to eat at home.
“We’ve been very grateful to those who have come out and purchased our takeout popcorn,” Mueller said. “That’s helped tremendously get us through these times.”
The company’s Monticello and Eagan locations will reopen June 12. The rest of the sites — including Rogers and Plymouth’s Willow Creek — will reopen June 19.
Convincing Moviegoers to Return
Now, Emagine Theatres, like other movie theaters, just needs to convince people to come back
“We’ll be disinfecting all of our seats with a botanical disinfectant, one that’s on the EPA list of approved disinfectants to counteract COVID-19,” Mueller said.
Disinfecting seats is just one of several things the company is planning to do in Rogers to ensure a safe environment.
“There will be spacing between seats,” Mueller added. “Our software does that automatically so you can purchase tickets online and not have to worry about people sitting next to you. There will be two seats in between every group of tickets purchased.”
While things will look a little different when theaters reopen, what won’t change is the overall experience of seeing larger than life images on a monster screen.
“We live vicariously through somebody else’s story, and they’re always fun stories to live,” Mueller said. “So we’re very much looking forward to getting everyone back out.”
When the Emagine Theatres reopen, they’ll be replaying a lot of classic films until new releases start coming out in July. Tickets for those classic films, such as “Goonies” and “Back to the Future,” will be $3 for children and $5 for adults.