BROOKLINE (CBS) – For the first time in over a year, the doors at Coolidge Corner Theatre are set to reopen to the public on May 13, with safety precautions and a number of changes in place.
“We’re very ready to welcome audiences again. And it’s going to be a real relief to see people coming through the doors,” said Program Manager Mark Anastasio,
Head Projectionist Nick Lazzaro said, “people will purchase their tickets online in advance. They can get reserved seating. And when they do that the purchase process will actually buffer a physical distance zone around you.”
Masks will be required at all times and concessions will not be available during public screenings.
During the temporary closure, the historic Brookline Theatre did what it could, offering virtual screenings, private rentals, and outdoor events. They also took safety precautions, like upgrading the HVAC system.
“We literally revamped our entire website to be able to accommodate virtual screenings. Now we have the virtual screening room,” said Katherine Tallman, CEO & Executive Director.
But from the start it was clear the community was eager to return to the theatre. Tallman said throughout, donations and words of encouragement came pouring in. “We miss you, hang in there, we love you, we can’t wait to come back. And it made me so aware that we are not alone in this,” said Tallman.
“It’s amazing that we’re still here. The support of the public, of donations, all of that. And the community- we’re very lucky to still be here and able to open through all of this,” added Lazzaro.
To start out, all public screenings will take place in the largest theatre, which has 440 seats, and shows will be limited to 15 percent capacity. The other three screens will remain open for private rental bookings. The Coolidge will initially be open Thursdays-Sundays. Tickets will go on sale Friday, May 7, with a full lineup of films for May being announced next week.
“I really expect that we’ll have 68 seats sold in every show that we offer and that there will be a lot of smiles and a lot of teary eyes,” said Tallman.
“A movie theatre is such a wonderful place to begin that process of getting together again, experience things collectively, and it’s going to be magic,” said Anastasio.