CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Several of Western New York’s Regal movie theaters reopened Friday, and local moviegoers showed up.
“I’m just going to go pick a random one. I don’t even care. It’s the experience,” said an excited Nick Preskop.
Preskop hadn’t decided what movie he’d see when News 4 stopped him at the Regal Galleria. He said he just wanted to be there.
“Even just the walk down the aisle. It’s just…you can’t beat it. Then you get the snacks and go in the theater. The sound is better, the picture is better. Everything is just better,” Preskop said.
Four of the local theaters reopened Friday.
The Regal in Niagara Falls is scheduled to reopen the following Friday, May 14.
Despite the popularity of streaming services these days, News 4 met a lot of people who still want to go out to the movies.
“It was a sigh of relief. A sign things are finally turning around and we’re getting back to a sense of normalcy,” said Diego Reynoso.
Over at the Elmwood Regal, Wilfredo Santana and his date said they were excited to get out of the house.
“We haven’t been able to go to another movie theater. We were just waiting patiently until they opened this one,” Santana said.
New to the movie theater atmosphere at Regals, there are a lot of different signs, designed to help keep people safe.
Madeline Lex said she was comfortable with everything at the Regal Elmwood, noting she felt the seats were well spaced.
“It felt great. I think now that everything is relaxing and COVID’s kind of dying down but not really, we can kind of get back into the swing of things. I just love going to the movies,” Lex said.
All of Regal’s remaining 500+ U.S. theaters that were still open during the pandemic closed last fall.
Some reopened last month, but several of the ones around here reopened May 7, making for a happy atmosphere for local moviegoers eager to be back.
“It feels good. I love it. I hope they’re going to be open, like, forever,” said Jessica Martin.
Erica Brecher is an anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of her work here.