By Juli McDonald

DEDHAM (CBS) – The popcorn is hot, the lights are low and the show must go on at Dedham Community Theatre. The nearly 100-year-old-cinema finally reopened Friday.

“Last night I sent her a text and said, ‘It’s opening tomorrow, let’s go!’ I took some PTO time and here I am,” said Ginnie Klier of Quincy.

READ MORE: Moving Truck 'Storrowed' Near Mass General, Causing Traffic Delays

Owner Paul McMurtry, who worked at the theatre as a teen, saved it from closing 20 years ago. He wasn’t about to let a global pandemic be its ending scene.

“That’s what motivates me, just the fact, a couple hours a day out of someone’s life they can escape from reality and enjoy a film on the big screen,” McMurtry said.

Socially distant and stuck at home the last year, there was no shortage of movie watching for most people. But the regulars here agree there’s just nothing that compares to this experience.

READ MORE: COVID Vaccine Mandate Ordered For All Nursing Home Workers In Massachusetts

“Coming to the cinema, particularly this one, is the thing I miss the most during the pandemic. It’s unique in its offerings. It’s as if each movie is made for me. I couldn’t wait to get back to it,” said Donna Dickerson of Quincy.

“I really miss the movies. I’m a big movie buff. It was great to be back, great to have my popcorn. See my friend, be safe. We’re both vaccinated,” said Sue Dowling of Norwood.

It’s these simple pleasures – entertainment and being together – we’ve all been missing so much. Opening night in Dedham Square feels like a preview to the big sequel to come.

MORE NEWS: Museum 'Flabbergasted' When Oliver The Snake Lays Eggs

“Follow the science, listen to Dr. Fauci and get your shots. Still wear your masks. Social distance. We should be okay. We’ll get there,” said patron John Hanrahan of West Roxbury.

Juli McDonald