Small theaters begin opening up after COVID-19 shutdown

Small theaters begin opening up after COVID-19 shutdown

WYNNE, Ark. (KAIT) - While some of the big theaters might not be opening up just yet, a small movie theater in Wynne opened their doors this week after the COVID-19 shutdown.

The Wynne Twin Cinema is one of just a few small theaters in Region 8 opening up ahead of the larger chain theaters.

The two-screen theater opened for public viewings on Monday, showing movies like “The Wizard of Oz” or “The Goonies” while the newer releases from Hollywood are unavailable.

The theater is following all the guidelines from Gov. Asa Hutchinson, including limiting the number of people in each theater to under 50, mask-wearing, social distancing, and taking temperatures of each guest as they enter.

Owner and operator Jill McDaniel said while larger theaters are still waiting to open, they wanted to see how their customers would respond to the new guidelines as all the businesses start opening back up.

“Since we’re small town, we decided we’d give it a shot with classics and just kind of give our community something to do, so we’re just following all the guidelines, and since we’re family-owned and operated, we were able to follow the guidelines, I feel like closer than a lot of places,” said McDaniel.

Another reason for opening up was the cost of owning a small business during the shutdown.

“That was another reason we went ahead and decided to open was just to try and get some revenue coming in so that we could pay our staff that are our friends that help us out,” said McDaniel.

McDaniel said after this first week, they have decided to only do public viewings on the weekends, due to the slower ticket sales.

The theater is still offering private showings during the week, as well as selling some concession items to go to help with revenue.

To keep up with what Wynne Twin Cinema is doing, you can follow their Facebook page here or visit their website here.

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