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Movie theater owners to push for safe reopenings in Lansing

Posted at 5:45 AM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 09:41:22-04

LANSING, Mich. — Movie theaters across our state are planning to call on lawmakers to allow them to reopen during a hearing in Lansing Wednesday.

Celebration Cinema, owned by Studio C, is one of the hardest hit theaters in Grand Rapids that have been impacted by the governor's executive order.

It's been five months since theaters like Celebration Cinema were forced to close their doors as a way to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in Michigan.

The company has already had to close one of its locations at Woodland Mall and is suffering huge financial loss. Studio C is hoping the governor and legislature give their reopening plan serious consideration this week, saying movie theater openings should be aligned with Phase Four businesses, such as restaurants.

Officials say their theaters are already equipped with high ceilings, robust HVAC systems, and fresh air intake. They also say the fact that people will be facing the same direction to watch a movie and not talking much to people outside their group.

Studio C tells FOX 17 they believe these factors make theaters safer than many restaurants or indoor spaces.

With reserved seating, they would be able to limit capacity in the theaters.

Michigan is unique in having a number of locally owned theater chains, and Studio C says they are hopeful that the governor’s office and state legislature will see the ripple effects and value of local theaters in our communities.

The owner will be in Lansing today for the state legislature's Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic at the Capitol starting at 9 a.m., and they hope Governor Whitmer will be listening.