Village Centre Cinemas to postpone reopening

Thorough cleaning protocols, 25 percent capacity to be put in place when it reopens



The theater is staying closed for safety reasons. When it reopens, every other row will be blocked off. Hand sanitizer will be available.

BRADLEY GAMBLE, Evergreen reporter

Village Centre Cinemas delayed its plans to reopen Friday due to the recent increase of COVID-19 cases in Whitman County.

The owners decided the movie theater should remain closed to make sure employees and patrons are safe. The theater will reopen when cases in the county start declining, said Sean Warner, VCC chief operating officer.

The cinema closed earlier this summer because no new movies were being released. He said they planned on showing about five movies leading up to Labor Day, including the Christopher Nolan films “Tenant” and “Inception.”

The number of staff members will be about the same as before the shutdown once the cinema reopens, Warner said. Some student-employees chose to stay home for online classes rather than come back to Pullman.

The cinema will follow safety protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Association of Theatre Owners when it reopens, he said. These protocols include providing masks and gloves to employees, implementing reduced capacity and enhancing cleaning protocols.

Hand sanitizing stations will be available in the lobby. An employee will wipe down the butter and drink machines in between each use, Warner said. Theater seats will be cleaned using a non-damaging disinfectant spray that kills any germs and dries in 10 minutes.

Each theater will be at 25 percent capacity. Every other row and the bottom section of each theater has been blocked off. The cinema requires everyone who is not in the same family or party to space out in the available rows, he said.

“If one family goes in and there’s four or five of them in that row, then that’s all we would let in that row,” he said. “In our bigger theaters that means we can put about 52 people in each theater.”