The Gloria Theatre in Urbana has reopened with fan-favorite movies after temporarily closing in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We felt like we could safely operate and follow some pretty straight forward protocols and that we would ensure people’s safety that way,” Staci Weller, CEO of the GrandWorks Foundation, the nonprofit that manages the theatre said.
At the beginning of June, Gov Mike DeWine announced that entertainment venues including indoor movie theaters could reopen on June 10, as long as they could follow health and safety restrictions.
Weller explained that they decided to wait to reopen because they were not ready to open at that point and “had a lot of clean-up from renovations.”
PHOTOS: Renovations continue at Gloria Theatre
“We were renovating before the shutdown and we will continue to do so even after we reopen, but we know with the current climate that people are looking for things to do and we want to start servicing our community again,” Weller said.
Renovations include installing a new ticket booth, restoring the main lobby’s art-deco ceiling, installing a new HVAC system, building a new office and completing roof and other repairs, Weller explained.
During the Fourth of July weekend, The Gloria Theatre showcased several Superhero movies.
To protect customers and employees, Weller explained that every other row of seating in the theatre is closed, acrylic screens have been added to the concession stand, employees are wearing masks and gloves and the theatre is sanitized between each show.
“It gives people the opportunity to get out and do something, but still be safe,” Weller said.
READ: Local restaurant owner faces backlash for social media comments
This weekend, the theatre will feature a “Return to the Classics” theme with movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Grease, Forrest Gump and the Ten Commandments. Next weekend they will feature Disney movies.
“We are trying to offer something for everyone,” Weller said. “There is nothing quite like seeing these all-time favorites on the big screen with surround sound.”
Weller explained that tickets will be discounted to $5 for a limited time.
“That was in response to the pandemic,” Weller said. “We felt like this was something that we can offer up for a limited time just because we understand the hardships that people have experienced.”
Not all theaters in the area have reopened.
Cinema 10 in Springfield, owned by United Entertainment Corp. (UEC), is still closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the theater’s voicemail. The News-Sun has reached out to UEC for reopening plans, but the company has not responded.
For more information and showtimes, search for Gloria Theatre by GrandWorks on Facebook or visit www.gloriatheatre.org. The Gloria Theatre is one of three projects managed by the GrandWorks Foundation.