Local Movie Theaters, Bowling Alleys Prepare for Reopening

Governor Whitmer signed an executive order Friday allowing places like movie theaters and bowling alleys to reopen to the public statewide on October 9th.

They’ll have to follow capacity and social distancing guidelines.

The lights inside and outside The Ideal Theater in Clare are about to shine for the first time in months.

Owner Tom Koch says this is the longest shutdown in the theaters history.

The reopening comes as things in the movie industry remain shaky.

“For instance, that Tenet movie would have normally been expected to do $50 million the first weekend, well it’s been out several weeks and only done $40 million to this point. A lot of the movies were put back and hold and so they’re might not be as much product as we’re usually used to, particularly during the holiday season,” said Koch.

Bowling alleys can also reopen for open bowling.

They’ve been limited to league play for the last several weeks.

“We are a pretty league heavy center, but on those days where we don’t have league, the community knows and they like to take advantage of it so we’re happy to have that back,” said Daniel and Breanna Burnett, Owners of The Gate in Big Rapids.

It’s still not clear what the coming months hold for places like theaters and bowling alleys, but this a major step forward for businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The movie industry is talking, it might take a couple years to recover so, we might be on a limited basis, we might be only open 3 days a week, I haven’t decided yet, we’ll have to see how it goes,” said Koch.  “It was very nice to have leagues, to start off with leagues it definitely gave us a chance to kind of get back into the groove of things and now we’re there,” said Daniel and Breanna.

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Categories: Coronavirus