Bust out the popcorn, cinemas are reopening
BALLINA Fair Cinemas are getting ready to reopen the doors on Thursday.
Co-owner Paul McGrath said his team has worked hard to have the business ready for families to enjoy the big screen, popcorn and choc tops.
Tickets will be at a special reopening price of $10 for at least the first week.
Mr McGrath said the cinema will be open seven days a week, with all three cinemas open.
Each cinema will be restricted to 70, 50 and 40 seats respectively.
"We have blocked certain rows, and this will allow families to seat together but keeps them separated from other people," he said.
"We will be taking a bit longer in between sessions to wipe down all glass holders, door handles, plus all other surfaces.
"We have been getting information and best practice tips from the Australian Independent Cinemas Association."
On Thursdays, Sunday, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the cinema will be open 10am to 5pm.
Operating hours on Fridays and Saturdays will be 10am to 7pm.
The other issue for the business is what films to show.
With pandemic restrictions keeping cinemas closed in the USA, Australian cinemas don't have many new films to screen.
Mr McGrath said the Ballina cinema will reopen with family films such as Sonic The Hedgehog, Jumanji The Next Level, Dolittle and similar, release at the end of 2019 or beginning of 2020.
"After that we may need to move towards more classic films, so we will be looking into Titanic, Shrek, and we may ask the community via social media what they want to watch," he said.
"Major releases will be postponed until cinemas in the USA and China reopen.
"The new live version of Mulan by Disney was just delayed over the weekend until August 20.
"Not all films are available to cinemas, because many have been sent to streaming online, like Avatar and the original Star Wars trilogy.
"Pulp Fiction and Titanic seems to be doing really well at drive-in cinemas, so we may bring some of thsoe in soon."
Five full-time staff were retained via JobKeeper and have meticulously cleaned every seat and every corner of the cinemas.