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Movie theaters make plans for safe reopening

Once the state says reopening is alright, McSparin says the staff are already in place to work fast.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Movie theaters are ready to welcome back customers.

"We just want to embrace you, we want to do everything in our power to make you feel comfortable and safe," says Matt McSparin, executive vice president of Goodrich Quality Theaters.

McSparin says the closures have been tough not only for his chain but the industry as a whole. To get back open, his company will use what he refers to as the "three S's".

"That's safe distancing, sanitizing and washing hands, and then the third one being safely following recommendations," explains McSparin.

For safe distancing, guests will be seated three seats apart from each other to keep a six foot space. Sanitizing will happen between each movie showing.

When visitors arrive, they will be required to wear a mask. When they are handed their ticket, they'll also be handed a wipe in case they want to do any extra cleaning at their seat.

"We're just going to be doing our best to get people back into the rhythm, feeling safe about coming out," says McSparin.

Celebration Cinema has similar plans in place as well. 

Community affairs director Emily Loeks said in a statement to 13 On Your Side, "As always, we will pay strong attention to the cleanliness of our theaters, giving increased attention to high touch surfaces."

So far, only GQT's Cadillac location has a re-opening date set for next month. But once the state says reopening in other areas is alright, McSparin says the staff are already in place to work fast.

"We'll be able to act very quickly to respond and hopefully get those theaters open within a week of that announcement," he says.

McSparin believes that in the end the decision to come out will be up to each persons comfort level. But regardless, as someone who works in entertainment, he's excited to bring back a service for the community once again.

"The real joy and excitement of this is seeing the guests respond in a positive manner," says McSparin. "Seeing that smile on their face. It's a little bit different now with masks, but nonetheless."

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