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Businesses react to latest wave of reopenings

Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 11:13 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Governor Whitmer announced Friday movie theaters, arcades, bingo halls and trampoline parks can reopen their doors in just two weeks after being closed for nearly seven months.

Business owners like Leann Owen, who owns the Eaton Theatre in Charlotte, says this is the news they’ve been waiting for.

“We’ve been waiting six months. It’s been a long time so we’re pretty excited that at least we’re moving in some sort of direction because we were at a standstill for so long,” said Owen.

Owen finally got the chance to change the question mark on the Theatre’s marquee to October 9th.

Lisa Robitaille, owner of the Sun Theatre Williamston, says they’re excited. However, the capacity limits may be a challenge to make reasonable profits.

“At the 20% guidelines, that’s approximately 275 people less than what we could normally have in here for our regular movies so at the 20% I just hope it’s going to be enough to still get us through,” said Robitaille.

They’ll also need to prepare to start welcoming people back into their doors.

“We have to get the word out. So, we’re going to have to do a lot of social media. We’re going to have to do articles in the paper. We’re going to have to get a hold of our bookers, try to find some films that are reasonably priced that we know will draw people in,” said Owen.

Movie lineups will also be a challenge as many premieres have been pushed back.

“We’ll have to show some older films for a while because until everything opens coast to coast, we’re still not getting those block buster movies yet,” said Owen.

In the meantime, both owners hope their popcorn-to-go specials will hold them over.

“What we really need right now is just a lot of support. Hopefully, all the people who said they were looking forward to coming back to the movies will come back,” said Robitaille.

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