Local Theaters Await Return of Full Moviegoing Experience in Phase 2

first_imgWith Labor Day Weekend in full effect, and county beaches reopening open, residents and business owners are actually looking forward to the week ahead, for once.That’s because Palm Beach County will enter the first step of phase 2 of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopening plan this Tuesday.Last week, commissioners approved a plan that would potentially see businesses continue to resume operations gradually, over a period of months.Under the first part, which takes effect, retail stores and gyms will be among those who will be able to return to full capacity for the first time since the pandemic started.One would assume that’s good news for movie theaters, which have remained shuttered since March, as production and releases were halted, postponed, or cancelled outright in some cases.Some film companies compensated for the closures by rushing their new releases to other viewing methods, such as Video On Demand.“Without having (the summer blockbuster season) it obviously has an impact on (our) bottom line,” Paul Safran, president and CEO of iPic Theaters, recently told our news partner, WPTV NewsChannel 5.Courtesy: Facebook/iPic TheatersHis company has 14 locations, two of which are located in Delray Beach and Boca Raton.Still, he believes theaters such as his will remain as popular as ever under the circumstances, as movies with six-figure production budgets rely on their theater releases to turn a profit, or to break even at least.Indeed, many theater goers have lamented the fact that they couldn’t enjoy the full experience for much of the year.Now, with theaters in our county set to slowly begin welcoming movie buffs again the coming days and weeks, there comes a big test to Safran’s prediction.During the pandemic, many other new lifestyle and business habits have emerged, some of which could become permanent.With that in mind, it remains to be seen whether the crowds will return in big enough numbers to sustain theaters moving forward, or whether they will send theaters to history in preference for the new ways of watching movies.last_img read more