BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – After a successful Memorial Day Weekend, movie theaters across Western New York are looking forward to the summer.
“It’s obvious by the attendance that we had this past weekend a lot of people are eager to return and get back out to doing social events and just getting back to what we call normal,” said Tracy Janis, who’s the district manager for Dipson Theatres.
Theaters across Western New York, like at the Flix Theatre on transit road, saw large crowds this past weekend, many catching a Quiet Place Part 2, which was filmed right here in Western New York. They weren’t alone. The Aurora Theatre also saw a big turn out.
“It was actually better than we expected. We were still concerned that people were going to be worried about coming back to the movies and actually we had so many phone calls from people asking us, what are the guidelines, what can we do, what can’t we do,” owner Lynn Kinsella said. “So you know they hadn’t been to the movies since covid so they were definitely coming back to see this movie.”
Kinsella says movie theaters dealt with two issues this past year, people hesitant to go to the movies and the fact that there weren’t any major movie releases. She says both problems appear to be solved.
“There really wasn’t much to see on the big screen. So I think now they’ve seen there’s new movies that they’re excited to see on the big screen, not streaming,” she said.
Both the Aurora Theatre and Dipson Theatres are trusting movie goers that if they’re not wearing a mask, it’s because they’re vaccinated.
“There were many people still wearing masks, there were many people who said they were vaccinated,” Kinsella said. “So everyone was really respectful and conscience of what the situation is and concerned for each other’s safety.”
“If you have your vaccination card or your excelsior pass through New York State on your phone, you can present that,” Janis said. “It’s not required at this time but we are still following the social distancing guidelines.”
Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.