LOS ANGELES - One year ago this month, theaters across Los Angeles County were forced to shut down amid coronavirus concerns. Since then, movie lovers like Torre Reddick and Jennifer Christa have wanted to go back and enjoy a movie in a theater. They say they used to go every week.
"The idea of going back? We’d love that," says Reddick.
He may get his wish soon. California functions under a color-coded tier system. And the way things are going with the decline in COVID-19 cases, we may be about to move from the restrictive Purple Tier in LA, Orange and Riverside counties to the Red Tier.
Greg Laemmle owns a chain of theaters in LA County that have been closed like all of the others. He says moving to the Red Tier isn’t a free pass, as county public health officials still can make some rules.
Says Laemmle, "Local counties or communities determine what they’re going to do with the freedom that comes from being in that tier."
Laemmle says, "We’re not going to open up and have packed movie theaters in the Red Tier. We’re going to be limited in our capacity…. Will we be at 25% capacity but we won’t be allowed to have concessions inside the auditorium? We just don’t know."
Laemmle says the bottom line is it should be safe to be inside a movie theater.
Reddick and Christa are OK with watching movies stream online, but they say a return to theaters could make things feel more normal again.
Christa says, "It’ll be so nice. I’ve definitely developed a different appreciation for movie theaters after everything that happened."
Another who feels that way is Dylan Dunlap. In fact, He went to Las Vegas to see "Tenet" when it came out last summer because he wanted to see that in an actual theater and not online. He says he and his girlfriend went and "We were very safe about it. Like we sat in the back row. I think if everybody pays attention to the guidelines and respects them it can come back."
At least he hopes so and so does theater owner Greg Laemmle who tells theater lovers "Just hang tight and watch. Pay attention to the details of what you’re hearing in terms of movie-going resuming."
No doubt Reddick will be dancing and jumping for joy when he finally gets a chance to get back inside a movie theater… whenever that might be.