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These industries still can't open in Michigan due to COVID-19 restrictions

Posted at 9:55 PM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 21:55:41-04
(WXYZ) —

While gyms prepare to re-open next week and most other businesses are back open in some capacity, there are still few industries waiting for the green light.

“I’ll say it’s frustrating. I’ll be real honest with you, it’s frustrating. It’s been five months,” says Scott Freeman, the general manager of the Farmington Civic Theater.

“We’ve done the very best we can to make lemonade out of lemons,” says Paul Glantz, chairman of Emagine Entertainment.

And that’s the theme of this story. Movie theaters, bowling alleys and ice rinks are still closed to the public under the governors orders while gyms prepare to open the doors next week.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has created a loop hole for bowling alleys and ice arenas that offers some reprieve.

“At this point, we are not open to the public. It is only open to our membership. It’s not the end-all to get us back to normal or even close to normal but it is a start,” says Joe Riccardi, president of 140 Ice in Howell.

With property taxes due in mid-September and no revenue coming in, it’s been stressful. Ice rinks can see a faint light at the end of the tunnel.

Movie theaters are still waiting for a start. In the meantime, coming up with creative solutions to stay connected with their customer base.

“So, we’re doing a double feature tonight,” says Glantz.“We have this really lovely drive-in out in Novi and we entertain thousands of people out there. And we remain very positive about the circumstancs,” says Glantz.

“We are open for popcorn and concessions right now three days a week. People can come in, buy popcorn and wander around downtown Farmington,” says Freeman. They also have treats for the four-legged friends.

Freeman says they have safety protocols in place for when they can show movies once again.

“I have different tape marking around the theater for different scenarios so once that’s announced,” says Freeman, they’ll be ready to go.

“If you were to go to cinemasafe.org you’ll see all the things we’re doing to make sure that when we re-open we are going to do all the things we can to protect the health and safety of our guests,” says Glantz.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.