One of Estevan’s longest-standing and most iconic businesses is looking forward to opening once again.
The Orpheum Theatre has been closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But the business announced last week it would return with its hot-buttered popcorn and the action thriller Unhinged, starring Russel Crowe, on Sept. 11.
“We have missed you,” the business said in a news release. “All of us at the Orpheum Theatre are so excited to reopen and fire up the projector. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back.”
The Orpheum will initially be open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays. People are asked to call 306-634-2321, or check their website or social media feed for show times.
Jocelyn Dougherty, who owns the business with her husband Alan, said they are initially opening Cinema 2, the newer and smaller cinema, and they can have 50 people per show.
The aisle seats will be blocked as well as every other row. People are asked to leave a few seats between them and others who aren't in their party. An air to air exchanger will circulate the indoor air for fresh outdoor air.
Staff members will be wearing masks and/or face shields and will be frequently washing hands. Masks for customers are encouraged, but not mandatory. They will take temperatures at the door.
The box office will be at the concession so there will be more room to line people up with physical distancing. A Plexiglas partition will be set up in the concession area, and hand sanitizing stations will be in the front lobby and the entranceway.
Auditoriums, seating surfaces, washrooms and high touch areas will be disinfected with Vital Oxide, which Dougherty said is completely odorless, 100 per cent biodegradable, and approved by Health Canada.
Future movies will include Christopher Nolan's Tenet and the SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.
“The film companies will be watching closely as to how these movies are received. If all goes well, more new movies will be released this year. It will be a wait and see approach,” said Dougherty. “If we run out of new movies, we will bring in some classics at a reduced admission.”
The Orpheum will also be promoting private theatre rentals for both movies and video games on the big screen. They can also serve alcohol at the private shows if no minors are present.
There is limited seating so people are asked come early. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to show time.