After three months of shuttered doors, the Fiesta Theatre in downtown Cortez is slated to reopen this Friday.
The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted all sectors of society, including movie theaters. But as businesses start to reopen, the Fiesta Theatre will begin screening films once more — although there won’t be new movies out for a while.
“There aren’t any new movies yet, just because Hollywood’s not letting anything out yet, but we are doing our best to get very good, fun titles to bring in, help you escape reality,” said Amanda Sharp, marketing director of Allen Theatres, which operates theater sites in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, including the Fiesta Theatre.
Restrictions will be in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Sharp added.
The Fiesta Theatre closed mid-March and has appeared frozen in time since then, with the marquee outside continuing to advertise “The Call of the Wild” and “Onward.”
But this Friday, the Fiesta will open its doors and screen two popular movies: “The Avengers” and “The Greatest Showman.” Hours will remain the same, Sharp said, with the earliest showtime at 11:45 a.m. and the latest at 8:45 p.m.
“We’re trying to keep the same schedule,” she said. There will be four showtimes of “The Greatest Showman” and three of “The Avengers.”
The movie theater will take some precautions to ensure social distancing and a sanitized space.
When patrons purchase tickets, the theater will block off areas seats around their selected seats to space out viewers, although members of the same party will be permitted to sit together. For example, a family of four could side by side, but two empty seats would be blocked off on each side of the group, Sharp said.
Disinfecting foggers are in place at all the Allen Theatres to sanitize surfaces and air, and social distancing markers in the lobby will keep patrons spread apart.
The summer kids program will resume as well, with free Wednesday screenings of children’s movies at 9 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. through July. On July 1, the movie shown will be “Dora and the Lost City of Gold.”
The Durango Stadium 9 theater, which is part of the Allen Theatres group, has also received approval to reopen Friday, Sharp said, although on a more limited basis.