Movie theaters reopen as LA County moves to red tier

It was a busy Monday at the AMC 16 in Burbank.

Hundreds of movie-lovers in the first few hours of reopening came to do something they haven’t been able to do in a full year and that's to sit in the dark and watch a story play out on a big screen.

Some of the moviegoers waited 12 months to finally catch a movie at the Downtown Burbank theatre complex. 

Iberia Brognus and her family love movies so they got their own inflatable screen. But when they got to the theatre on Monday, George and Iberia were so excited.

Others like Raymond Elijah Magaña and his dad Ray Sr. were thrilled to be here.

Said the 10-year-old about the last time he was in a movie house, "It’s been so long I don’t even know."

But, they and others have seen lots of movies online and on streaming apps.

Eric Johnson and his daughter Peyton were at the theatre to see the new "Tom and Jerry" movie. Reflecting on all the streaming movies of the past year he said, "Oh my God, hundreds. I’ve watched more movies at home than I could ever imagine in my life."

So what’s new? First, theaters can only operate with 25% occupancy per auditorium.

When you walk into a theater things are going to be a little different than what you’re used too. When you walk in there’s usually a ticket taker. And, there is one, but that person is behind a Plexiglas accepting smartphone tickets and placing lines through paper ones from the ticket machines outside or from the box office. It’s all about being touch-less.

When you go to the concession stand, you’re greeted with signs that read the following instructions:

  • Cash not accepted
  • You have to ask for condiments, napkins and more
  • No refills
  • Masks are required for all.

When you walk into one of the auditoriums you don’t see any yellow tape blocking off seats. You don’t see any Plexiglas. But, they do use a software program called "dynamic seating" that makes sure customers are spaced safely around the theater.

So, welcome back to the movies, even if there are a few restrictions.

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