Terry McQuisten will welcome moviegoers back to the Eltrym Theater on March 5 — the 13th anniversary of when she and her husband, Dan, purchased the business.
And, as of a Wednesday, Feb. 24 announcement from the state, theaters can now sell concessions.
“It will be normal — people will just have to wear masks and social distance,” McQuisten said.
While Baker County is in the lowest of the state’s four risk levels for COVID-19 spread, the theater can have up to 50% of capacity. However, McQuisten said she will limit ticket sales to 30% or 40% to ensure enough space between patrons inside the theater spaces.
That would mean about 40 to 50 tickets per showing for the largest of the Eltrym’s three screens, and fewer than 20 in each of the two smaller spaces.
The Eltrym, Baker County’s only moviehouse, hasn’t been open much in the past year. Due to state-mandated restrictions, it closed mid-March 2020.
McQuisten reopened Sept. 18, but studios weren’t releasing new movies. A statewide freeze again closed theaters on Nov. 14. The Eltrym has been closed since then.
During the closures, the McQuistens worked on several projects, such as installing air scrubbers on the HVAC system.
While inside the theater, masks are required except when eating or drinking.
McQuisten said movies are being released at a better rate now that more venues are reopening, including Disney’s “Raya and the Last Dragon.”
“The films are getting better,” she said.
She plans to be open Friday through Monday or Tuesday until she can increase her staff. To stay updated, visit www.eltrym.com or check the theater’s Facebook page.