No, that’s not a line from a horror movie, but rather the good news many movie aficionados are saying with joy as the Roseburg Cinema has reopened after months of having its doors shuttered.
The cinema, at 1750 NW Hughwood Drive, opened on Friday and showed movies through the weekend. That Friday through Sunday schedule will continue for the foreseeable future, said Daryn McLennan, vice president of operations.
“We’ll just continue to evaluate the schedule as we move forward,” McLennan said.
Movies shown this past weekend included “The Little Things,” “Wonder Woman 1984,” and “The Croods: A New Age.”
A couple of new movies will be swapped in next weekend, McLennan said, including “Monster Hunter.”
Movie production has come to a virtual standstill due to COVID-19 concerns, and the dearth of new movies is one reason the Roseburg Cinema didn’t reopen sooner, McLennan said.
“We kind of ran the gamut last fall with all the old movies, so we kind of felt like, ‘Let’s wait to see the schedule over next couple of months,’” he said. “We feel like we’re in that zone now, so we opened up on Friday.”
The cinema closed in mid-March due to gathering restrictions instituted across Oregon because of COVID-19. It reopened mid-June after three months of closed doors. But that reopening was short-lived.
Because Hollywood had basically stopped making movies due to the coronavirus, the cinema was forced to rely on running classics, like “Wizard of Oz,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
At the end of December and early into this year, when many other businesses were reopening at least partially, Roseburg Cinema remained closed. Back then, McLennan said the theater was in a holding pattern for the time being.
“The big concern is we don’t want to open just to get closed down again,” he said at the time. “It just doesn’t make sense to open up for two weeks and then close the biz again.”
The reopening doesn’t mean business is back to usual; the theater is still under space and seating restrictions. The theater is blocking off every other row and only selling 25% of the available seats for any particular showing.
That means the bigger auditorium, which can seat 300 people, will only have 35 or so for any showing now, McLennan said. Smaller theaters will now have about a dozen people for any single movie, he said. The VIP room will also be open for select showings.
The cinema announced the reopening on Facebook: “To all of our valued guests — we are so pleased to be one of only three cinemas in Oregon that are currently open. It has been such a pleasure to welcome you back to the cinema this weekend.”
Judging by comments on its Facebook page, the reopening has been a hit with movie fans.
“We were sooo happy to be the 1st ones through the door yesterday!” one fan wrote. “Kids saw ‘The Croods,’ we saw ‘News of the World’ and really enjoyed it! We missed you!”
Some of the movies are showing simultaneously on HBO Max and other streaming services. McLennan said that will likely continue for a couple of months before movies are shown in theaters first.
Ticket prices range from $7.25 for a child to $12 for an adult watching a 3D movie in the evening. For more information go to Roseburgcinemas.com.