After six months, Michigan movie theaters, bowling alleys reopen

Businesses have precautions in place to protect staff, customer

NOVI, Mich. – Movie theaters and bowling alleys are some of the last industries to be allowed to reopen in Michigan.

Starting Friday, movie theaters, bowling alleys, trampoline parks and other entertainment venues are now allowed to open their doors for the first time since the pandemic began.

“The toughest part about this for me was being deprived of the opportunity to bring joy and happiness to our guests,” said Paul Glantz, the chairman of Emagine Entertainment.

Related: Emagine to reopen Michigan theaters on Oct. 9 with free tickets for frontline workers

Customers are required to wear a mask and there are attendance restrictions. The businesses are only allowed 25% of their seating capacity with a maximum of 500 people.

As movie theaters received the green light to reopen, theaters -- like Emagine -- are looking forward to welcoming back guests.

“When you come in, you’ll see that there are extra levels of sanitation,” Glantz said. “You’re implementing social distancing and any cues. We’ve turned around all the credit card readers so that you’re not handing your credit card to someone.”

Glantz said Emagine Theaters will follow American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards.

“We’re constantly circulating the air in the building itself,” Glantz said. “We’re bringing in a lot of fresh air to create basically positive pressure so that it’s coming back through the relation that our boards.”

READ: How do ventilation systems help or hurt us when it comes to COVID-19?

Each family or party will be required to have two seats between each other -- which is more than seven feet.

“We’re going to be leaving more time between features, so that we have time for extra sanitation and extra cleaning between shows,” Glantz said.

There is always the potential for outbreaks to happen in the midst of a pandemic and if that happens, Emagine theaters will rely on their rewards program to contact trace.

“We’re gonna be urging all of our guests to sign up with our rewards program, so they not only earn rewards -- without any cost whatsoever -- but on top of it, we’re going to be doing so so that in the unlikely event we have to reach out to them, we can find them, and notify them that perhaps that have been tested or going to self quarantine,” Glantz said.

MORE: Reopening Michigan

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