Under Phase 1 of the state's economic recovery from the state of emergency brought on by COVID-19, more businesses are permitted to reopen, but at 30 percent capacity. Movies at Midway along Route 1 will reopen Monday, June 1, but it won't be business as usual.
Movies at Midway will be the first theater in Delaware to reopen, followed by Milton Theatre Wednesday, June 3.
Like all other businesses and restaurants reopening June 1, at the top of the list of restrictions is the requirement to limit patrons to no more than 30 percent of the capacity established by the State Fire Marshal’s Office and to require social distancing requirements.
Brooke Lowe, general manager, said the theaters have decided to lower that number and are opening only six of 13 theaters. “We want to feel everything out, and we can always make adjustments and fine- tune,” she said.
Lowe said all state health and CDC guidelines will be followed. All staff will submit to temperature checks and answer health questions when they come to work, and they will be required to wear face coverings.
Every other row in the theaters will be closed. Lowe said the 150-seat theaters will be limited to 40 seats and the 190-seat theaters will be limited to 60 seats. The Cube is not scheduled to reopen.
Families can sit together but must leave at least two seats between family members and other patrons. All moviegoers 13 years old and older will be required to wear face coverings except in their seats.
Cleaning of all high-contact points will take place every 15 minutes to two hours.
Start times of movies will be 30 minutes apart to keep crowds from congregating in the lobby area. Patrons will be directed to use one way in and one way out.
Times for upcoming shows will be posted on the theater website at moviesatmidway.com.
The website also contains a list of restrictions and changes in operation. “We want to be very transparent with our customers so everyone knows what they are walking into,” Lowe said.
All tickets will be $6 for all ages at all times for every movie. Only pre-packaged items can be sold at the concession stand, and no cash will be accepted.
And yes, moviegoers can still get popcorn, but not the kind that is fresh popped in a machine. Lowe said gourmet popcorn in a variety of flavors will be available as will bottled water, Pepsi products and candy.
Lowe said arcade games and lobby seating have been removed. Until further notice, no parties will be booked.
Moviegoers will be greeted with new seats. Just about the time the theater closed down in mid-March, a crew had begun a major renovation project to remove all old seats and and replace them with nearly 1,900 new rocker seats.
Lowe said a mix of old and new movies will be shown during June and July. Appearing on the screens June 1 will be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Jaws, Grease and The High Notes. Other movies over the next two weeks will include Troll's World Tour, Mighty Oak, a June 8 anniversary showing of Ghostbusters and King of Staten Island.