CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The coronavirus recovery now extends to the movie theater industry.
Theaters were given the go-ahead to reopen from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine this week.
“I feel awesome,” RJ Cinema General Manager Ric Welker said. “It’s great to be back in the entertainment business again.”
RJ Cinema opened in Eastgate in July 2019 with a unique concept: a movie theater with a distillery and a tap room.
Welker says during the shutdown RJ Cinema was able to open its bar and kitchen, but Friday is the first day it’s able to open the theater aspect of the business.
Along with RJ Cinema, Colony 7 theaters are opening Friday, but Cinemark will remain closed until next Friday, as will Kenwood Theater, Mariemont Theater and the Esquire.
AMC Theaters says it will open its theaters next month, but no date has been set.
Movie houses won’t look the same as they did pre-pandemic.
“We need to be able to clean the theaters in between showings," Welker said. "And so we’ve gotten more staff, the seat gets wiped down, the tray gets wiped down, the arm rest, the seat back, the seat in front of you gets wiped down. Everything is sanitized.”
Face coverings are optional for theater-goers, but all employees will be wearing them.
First-run movies out of Hollywood are not expected in theaters until mid-July, so RJ Cinema is currently showing classics like The Wizard of Oz and Jurassic Park at reduced ticket prices.