Charlotte-based theater company reopening more theaters as COVID-19 guidelines ease

Updated: Apr. 23, 2021 at 5:01 PM EDT
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INDIAN LAND, S.C. (WBTV) - Grab your popcorn and fill up on your favorite soda this weekend at your neighborhood movie theater.

More theaters are reopening across the Charlotte area as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

Charlotte-based theater company Stone Theatres reopened three locations Friday including one in Indian Land, S.C. called Red Stone 14.

Red Stone 14 opened for a few weeks last August for limited-release films but this is the first time they have been open to this extent since the start of the pandemic.

The General Manager Tina Conklin said they’re very excited to welcome back regular moviegoers and first-time guests.

“The most important thing is for our regular customers to come back. We’ve missed them while we’ve been closed and then looking forward to the upcoming releases,” Conklin said.

Don Schacher says he used to go see a movie every week before the pandemic, and now he’s ready to get back to his favorite pastime.

“I’ve got my popcorn and I’ve got my drink I’m ready to go,” Schacher said as he headed to see Godzilla vs. Kong.

Jacob Hughes and his mother Kimberlee Walgamotte said they could’ve watched Mortal Kombat at home but they wanted the in-person experience.

“I’ve been waiting to come back to the theater for a while. I had planned to, I had all the lineup of the movies I was going to go see,” Hughes said.

Both say they’ve longed for this moment to come back and get their favorite snacks, and enjoy the surround sound but not without their masks and other guidelines.

“They posted a video yesterday that showed us all of the safety protocols that they had in place, so that made us feel safer, plus we both had our vaccinations so we feel pretty confident,” Walgamotte said.

Masks are required in all common areas but guests can take them off while seated. Debit and credit cards are encouraged.

Refills on popcorn and drinks are not allowed due to health regulations.

Social distancing markers are also placed at the box office and concession area.

Rows of seats are blocked off and you must keep three seats open between you and the next set of guests and Red Stone 14 is only operating at 30% capacity.

“We want to make sure that everyone feels safe. It’s more important for the six-foot separation so that everyone can feel comfortable taking off their mask while they’re in the theater and watching the movie,” Conklin said.

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