Perry Grand 3 Theatres reopens its doors

Allison Ullmann - Editor
From left, Jon Flores, Liberty Willett and Angie Marquez pose for a photo on the reopening night of the Perry Grand 3 Theatres on Friday, May 29. PHOTOS BY ALLISON ULLMANN/THE PERRY CHIEF

Movies are now playing again at Perry Grand 3 Theatres.

“I was super excited today, even though they were old movies I was playing, just to actually be in the theater and turn it on and see the screen again, it just made things seem a little bit more normal,” said Perry Grand 3 Theatres Manager Liberty Willett before the doors opened.

The theater officially reopened to the public on Friday, May 29 after being closed because of COVID-19. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation on May 20 allowing movie theaters, museums and more to open on May 22 with public health measures in place.

The impact of having movie theaters closed for two months, Owner Eric Tiernan said, was significant as no income was coming in.

“The important thing is that we open so the community knows we’re still here,” he said.

Tiernan said it’s hard to know when the public will feel comfortable about going to the movies.

“If they’re looking to go out, I think it’s a great way to get out and do something a little different yet still be in a safe environment because we’re doing everything here that we can,” Willett said.

To that end, the Perry Grand 3 Theatres have implemented new procedures to help keep employees and community members safe while enjoying a night out at the movies.

“We’re wearing masks and we’ve got the plexi glass up. We’ll have someone at the drink station. They’ll actually fill their cups for the customer because it’s one of the governor’s rules, we can’t do self-serve beverages. It’s going to actually take us more labor than before. But we’ll do what we need to do to try and make it work,” Tiernan said.

He encourages people coming in to follow guidelines for social distancing.

“If your family comes in together, they can sit together as long as they’re six feet away from someone else,” Tiernan said.

The theater will also be operating at 50 percent capacity. Tiernan said they will continue to monitor that and showtimes may be adjusted or additional showings added depending on interest.

The theater is currently only able to show older movies, Tiernan said, as many of the studios have pushed back release dates.

“We are able to access some of these older movies and they’re pretty good movies, really,” he said. “They are a lot cheaper, so what we’re going to do is we’re going to sell tickets for the older movies for $4.”

If community members aren’t ready to come in, Willett said they are continuing to offer curbside service with to-go popcorn and other concession items. A sign will be posted out front with the theater’s number.

Tiernan said they recommend people call and pick up their curbside items from 7:15-8:30 p.m.

“Just give us a call and we’ll run it out to you,” he added.

Willett and Tiernan enjoyed seeing the community come out to support the theater through curbside sales on select Fridays before the reopening date of May 29.

“I loved the community support,” Willett said. “Whatever’s going on, it seems like Perry was very, very positive and very supportive of all of our businesses. It’s been great.”