CHARLES CITY, Iowa - If you're looking to get out of the house this weekend and have some fun, maybe a movie is in order.
After a few months of being closed, the Charles Theatre is officially reopening this weekend to moviegoers for the first time since March 12th.
"It was going to be temporary, only for a couple of weeks. But it just kept getting extended. We were going to open up July 6th, and that got extended until today."
In the interim, manager Karen Youngerman says volunteers would sell popcorn to customers outside, and made about $11,000.
"That helped us keep the lights on."
Now that the doors are back open, Youngerman wants to let patrons know about a few changes before popping over to enjoy a flick on the silver screen. Plexiglass barriers have been installed for the ticket booth, concessions and cashiers table. Also, every other row of seats will be roped off to ensure distancing, and the maximum capacity has been reduced to only 100 people. Volunteers will also be wearing masks and gloves. In addition, seats will be sanitized after each showing. One other requirement: customers must wear a mask, with the theatre selling them for $1. For those who may have health issues that may inhibit wearing a mask, Youngerman says a mask can be taken off while seated, but must be donned at other times.
"We're hoping this is a success, but the main thing is keeping everybody safe, our volunteers and our customers."
While no new movies have been released yet, the theatre will be showing the 2016 remake of The Jungle Book, with 1984's Footloose being shown next week.
In addition, the Kasson State Theatre is opening its doors this evening, and also featuring the 2016 version of The Jungle Book.