Safe at the Movies

Covid-19 has impacted many businesses, but there is still a way to safely see films on the big screen.


Jack Naehr

The Fayette Mall Cinemark has opened back up; however, very few people are going due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Lexington residents feel unsure about the safety of going to a movie theater.

COVID-19 has created many challenges for the entertainment industry: among them, the inability to create and produce movies. 

Gov. Andy Beshear ordered movie theaters to close back in March when the virus was in its early stage. The Lexington Cinemark location reopened on Aug. 14. Although movie theaters are allowed to reopen for business, they are left with no new movies to show.

For the time being, movie theaters such as the Cinemark at Fayette Mall and the Brannon Crossing Movie Tavern have been playing reruns of older movies. Movies such as Toy Story, Harry Potter, and Guardians of the Galaxy are a few of the ones on the list.

Along with the change in movie showings, the Cinemark chain has completely changed its guidelines to ensure the safest and cleanest experience during these unprecedented times.

I felt the theater was sanitized well and that my health and safety was not in danger.

Guests are required to wear a face mask throughout the theater unless they are eating or drinking in the auditorium. This would help prevent the spread of the virus if one of the attendees were to have it while at the movie theater.

Movie times are more staggered to limit the number of people in the theater at a time. Guests are also required to pick their seats ahead of time and seats that are adjacent to the ones they picked are automatically blocked to ensure social distancing.

Staff members regularly clean and sanitize each auditorium between movie showtimes in hopes of limiting, if not preventing, the spread if an audience member were to have COVID-19.

Along with the auditoriums, the concession stand is sanitized frequently, considering the staff members are handling food that will be consumed by the guests.

I recently attended a movie at the Cinemark Fayette Mall with a couple of friends. The movie options were limited, so we picked a horror movie none of us had heard of before.

We all followed the masking protocol as usual when going out in public during the pandemic. We bought our tickets when we got to the theater, which felt normal, but the ticket booth worker had to pick the seats we chose on the screen before we could enter the auditorium. When we got in the auditorium, we found the seats we reserved and sat down.

There was no one sitting in any seat adjacent to ours because of social distancing and reserving seats ahead of time.

What felt strange was the fact that it was a Saturday night and there was not a huge crowd of people because of the limited number of showtimes and seating. But I felt the theater was sanitized well and that my health and safety was not in danger.

While putting these guidelines and procedures in place does not completely eliminate the spread of coronavirus, it allows for the movie theaters to keep their doors open for as long as possible.