ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Most movie theaters remain closed across the country due to the coronavirus pandemic, but several local independent theaters are finding safe ways to remain open for business.
Although Governor Brian Kemp allowed movie theaters to reopen on April 27 several big chains remain closed out of an abundance of precaution.
Local theaters however are in dire need of business and are going back to work safely following social distancing and sanitation mandates.
Around metro Atlanta you will only find a few select local theaters currently open.
“We are bringing everything virtually to our patrons so they can enjoy the show from the comfort of their homes and that’s why we call it the living room sessions,” said Andy Gaines of Earl and Rachel Smith Strand theater.
Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theater in Marietta is not physically open but they are streaming original content for viewers.
“From live organ shows to a silent film series to concerts of original material our tribute to the follies of 1990s we are providing entertainment to our patrons every single weekend.”
For those still wanting to get out of the house and still practice social distancing the plaza theater has an option for you.
The Plaza Theater has begun offering drive-in movie showings at two locations.
“You make a transition to going outside out of necessity definitely but the nice thing is drive-ins is a way of watching movies it’s almost as old as the Plaza theater itself it’s a very throwback thing it’s a very nostalgic thing that’s are in one of the characteristics that people look for from the Plaza theater,” said Christopher Escobar with Plaza Theater.
Since many films that were due to be released this spring and summer have been delayed or shown on streaming services The Plaza Theater is relying on classic movies to show at the drive-in.
“We’ve had a tremendous response usually when we put shows for sale they’re selling out quickly I’ll keep in mind here we only have a space for about 42 cars so usually it’s about an average of two and three people per car so it’s a little bit over 100 folks for the first showing,” added Escobar.
The Springs Cinema and Taphouse in Sandy Spring is also open with a number of safety components for staff and patrons
“With every transaction our system is going to buffer seats to the left as you enter buffer seats to the right which will give you at least a 6 foot distance between you and anybody else our recliners already have a significant amount of aisle space so there will be 7 feet from her to rest a head rest,” Brandt Gully, owner of Spring Cinema Tap House, said.
Staff will also disinfect surfaces and employees are required to wear mask and gloves.
“Limited revenue is better than zero revenue at this point we know it’s going to be a process and the key here is gaining consumer confidence that we are safe and comfortable environment.”
But for now, the days of packing into an air-conditioned theater to catch the latest blockbuster release are in the past, at least for a little while.
Theater owners tell me they’re working twice as hard to make half as much money. They’re looking forward to the day when auditoriums will be full once again.