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What to expect when movie theaters reopen

Theaters across the country are working to define best practices, update operations and technological interfaces to keep movie-goers and staff safe.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Your next trip to the movie theater is likely going to look a little different, and it starts before you walk into the door.

According to Celebration Cinema, people will be encouraged to use the company’s app when they buy their ticket or popcorn, to reduce the need to touch different surfaces.

The theaters will also be waving the online fee, to make it safe and easy to buy tickets in advance. 

There will also be more cleaning, and fewer people allowed in the theaters.

When it comes to reopening, Celebration will follow guidance of the CDC and public health officials in our area. But it also depends on what’s happening in the international industry, since major movie releases won’t happen until a majority of theaters can safely reopen. 

“All of the big new releases for March for April for May, and the beginning of June essentially got taken off the table,” said Emily Loeks, spokesperson for Celebration Cinema. “That's really tough in an industry like ours, it's not just opening the doors, we can't do that without a good product to show. So, currently the hope and the expectation is that there's some way to safely reopen as we get towards July.”

The 12 Celebration Cinema theaters, all in West and Central Michigan, closed in March, for the first time in its 75 year history. That meant temporary furloughs, for almost the entire company. 

But when theaters open back up, Celebration plans to mix in some fan favorites, like "Avengers," along with the movies set to release in July,

In the meantime, if you’ve been missing movie theater popcorn, you can get a massive bag thorough curbside-pickup at two Grand Rapids theaters, Studio Park and Celebration Cinema North. Just order it on Uber Eats, or call the theater directly.

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