NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – Movie theaters are now allowed to open under phase three.

Bruin Theaters, a privately-owned cinema in the east is opening its doors, six months after the pandemic forced it to close. There will be changes to the viewing experience.

  • 30 to 40 people will be allowed in each screening room.
  • Seats will be assigned, allowing for social distancing between people.
  • Employees will disinfect high touch areas between shows.
  • There are new plexi-glass barriers protecting customers and employees.

Three movies are currently playing, but the co-owner of Eastern NC Cinemas Mark Hartman says it’s about the experience.

“They can’t get our popcorn, in their house, they can’t hear people laughing, and engage with and experience it and that’s important to people. People like to get out of their houses and do stuff,” said Hartman.

The pandemic is the first thing in Eastern NC Cinemas’ 45-year history to close theaters other than power outages. Loans and federal small business stimulus funding helped the company stay financially afloat.

Eastern NC Cinemas is opening its Bruin Theaters as of right now. No word yet on when it will open it’s other location, Bear Town Cinemas.