Returning to the Movies with Confidence, Just in Time for Our 20th Anniversary
Farmington, Mich. – August 17, 2020 – Phoenix Theatres’ humble beginnings took root in August of 2000, and in the two decades since they have risen above more than their fair share of difficult challenges that are typical to a small business. However, none of these problems have been as serious as the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“This challenge was completely unexpected, and affects literally everyone in the world,” explained Cory Jacobson, owner of Phoenix Theatres. “We have faith in the human need to interact with one another and the art we present at the movies. It is unique to our American experience, as movies are one of our greatest cultural contributions to the world. Our business is both local and very social by nature and uniquely disadvantaged in a pandemic crisis.”
The movie industry is not only closed at your local theatre, but all production has stopped on new feature films as well. The film studios have responded by rescheduling all films beginning later this year and in some cases 2021. As the film industry grapples with these unprecedented problems, Phoenix Theatres decided to proactively shift their focus to offer solutions that could make a difference.
“Our management group has spent the past six months working on developing a comprehensive plan with the help of the National Association of Theatre Owners and their epidemiologist, Dr. Daniel Z. Uslan of U.C.L.A., and CDC guidance to carefully re-open our theatres,” Jacobson said. “Our first theatre to re-open will be Dubuque’s Kennedy Mall to support the return of Hollywood’s blockbuster movies to the big screen.”
To take the challenge away from implementing social distancing, we installed a new reserved seating program in our computer system that allows our guests to select their seat in advance either on our web site or newly developed mobile app. The computer will automatically remove two seats between each pair sold, creating a checkerboard style pattern. This will provide six feet of separation between guests to safely social distance while watching a film.
“Prior to our re-opening, we will be traveling to our theatre locations in Iowa, Massachusetts, and Michigan with our small specialized training group to individually work with every employee in the company,” said Sheena Hohman, Director of Employee Training and Development. “This will ensure a complete understanding of the importance of following our newly established guidelines for operations. By providing our employees with the tools and training necessary we can establish a safe movie-going environment for our employees and guests.”
Phoenix Theatres plans to incorporate both CDC and our local government standards on how a theatre should safely operate. Working closely with the National Association of Theatre Owners and with the help of our management and employees we have established new safety protocols for every aspect of the theatre:
- We will have social distancing guidelines in all the common areas and most importantly in the theatre auditoriums. The seating layout will automatically be configured within our reserved seating computer software, so that customers will not be within six feet of other guests not in their family
- Each employee will wear masks and other protective equipment.
- Guests will be required to wear face masks when moving about the theatre.
- We have streamlined transactions at the ticketing and concession stand to further minimize touch points.
- We will use a food grade disinfectant spray on all seats that removes 99.99% of all viruses on surfaces within 30 seconds.
- We will be using this disinfectant spray on high touch points throughout the building including the restrooms and concession areas.
- Hand sanitizer stations will also be provided for customer use throughout the theatre.
Detailed Video Re-Opening Plan:
“In order to help easily demonstrate these new policies, we developed a video to help illustrate what you can expect to see during your next trip to the movies,” said Tearis Reid, Vice President of Operations. “The cinema has always been a way for people to escape reality for a few hours. It is our job now more than ever to provide this experience to our guests while keeping them safe.”
To view Phoenix Theatres re-opening video plan and a complete listing of safety protocols, please visit our web site in advance at: www.phoenixmovies.net/covid
On August 27th we will be re-opening with Marvel’s “New Mutants,” Solstice Studios’ new Russell Crowe film “Unhinged,” Warner Brothers’ 10th Anniversary Exclusive Showing of Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” and starting on September 1st the Special Advanced Showing of Christopher Nolan’s long awaited “Tenet.” On September 18th we will feature 20th Century Studio’s “The Kingsman.” Throughout September we will are also pleased to feature highlights from several films from the Julian Dubuque Film Festival.
New Online Store:
The past few months have also been a time of great creativity and several very technically talented employees have worked together to develop a new Phoenix Theatres Store on our website that for the first time will allow customers to purchase gift cards on line (in increments of $25, $50, $100) and are available by visiting us on the web at Phoenixmovies.net. This month we have a special inaugural offer of a free large popcorn with the purchase of a gift card on our new on-line store. The gift cards can be used for any film and concession items.
“It is our sincere hope that our society can safely return to a normal routine of enjoying our lives and love of movies. The experience of living through this crisis has certainly been very humbling for all of us. I want to personally thank many of you that have called us and took the time to send us letters of support. These little niceties are just a little more appreciated than ever and proves to us that it’s incredible customers who have supported us the last 20 years,” said Jacobson.
About Phoenix Theatres:
The Michigan based Phoenix Theatres currently operates 10 screens at Laurel Park Place in Livonia, 10 screens at the Mall of Monroe in Monroe, 4 at State-Wayne, 6 screens at the Kennedy Mall in Dubuque, Iowa and 6 screens at the Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. For more information, visit www.phoenixmovies.net