AFTER more than three months, Ace Cinemas in Midland finally welcomed keen moviegoers back to the big screen on Thursday.
On March 23, the cinema was one of many across the state forced to close immediately as part of stage one of COVID-19 restrictions.
Ace Cinemas marketing and promotions manager Karen Smith said it had been hard not being in a work environment which is part of such a fun industry.
“We really didn’t have an option whether to stay open or not,” she said.
“And obviously so for the well-being of our staff and customers.
“We tried to keep in contact with staff, we sent out emails, newsletters and made a Facebook page.
“I think not having new films and no staff to interact with, that was probably the hardest thing because we’re pretty much a big family here.”
Now, the cinema has implemented a range of changes to keep customers and staff safe amid the pandemic.
Online and cashless sales are being encouraged, with candy bar items introduced to the cinema’s website, as well as sessions.
“Allocated seating has now been introduced into our general cinemas and the necessary spacing,” Ms Smith said.
The gap between sessions has also been extended to allow for a more thorough cleanse.
“We now have a dedicated cleaning team, we used to just rely on the ushers,” Ms Smith said.
“All of our staff have done a deep clean and COVID-19 hygiene course.”
Sneeze guards and hand sanitising stations have also been implemented around the cinema.
Ms Smith said people were definitely ready to come back to the cinemas.
“The thing with the cinemas is even in the 1940s, after the war, or when another catastrophe has happened, people want to immerse themselves in cinemas,” she said.
“They want to take that two hours out of their life and be completely out of this world.
“People have watched Netflix and Stan at home to death.
“You still don’t enjoy a movie in the same environment as the big screen and big sound.”