The Tivoli Theatre is looking to re-open its doors to the public sometime after the Labour Day long-weekend, nearly six months after shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m excited. I’m looking forward to it. I’m ready to open,” said Bonnie Geddes, the theatre’s owner since 1985. “My staff has been ready to open for a long time. They come in and clean all the time.”
Films from the 1980s and ’90s will be screened for the time being, and social distancing measures will be put in place.
“When you come in, you go through the concession area and into the auditorium. Nobody is coming out of the auditorium in that way,” said Geddes. “We’ll use our theatre guide ropes to move the traffic that way, and have people be mindful that we’re going to move in one direction only so we don’t have any crossover direction.”
The theatre can house 250 people, but will operate with a maximum capacity of 50 movie-goers. On the night of a screening, doors will be open 45 minutes prior in order to direct traffic.
“It’s a lot. We’re going to have to double the amount of people needed for half of the guests allowed,” said Geddes.
The auditorium has been divided into sections and seats have also been labelled, and movie-goers will be assigned a seat upon purchasing their ticket at the window.
Guests will also be asked to wear a mask — but are not permitted to — up to and while in the concession area.
“Once they’re seated in the auditorium, in their socially distanced designated section, they’ll be with the people they came with and stay there,” said Geddes. “There won’t be transferring seats. We have to keep contract tracing on everybody.”
She acknowledged that the moving-going experience will be a different one, but said she doesn’t want to risk anything.
“We want to do it right when we do it. We want people to feel safe, comfortable and confident,” she said. “There’s not much worse than getting the stigma that you didn’t do it right and someone gets sick.”
The theatre’s schedule — Tuesday to Sunday — is expected to stay the same, as well as the price of tickets: $10 for adults, $8 for students and $6 for children.
New carpets are also going to be installed, as well as a new concession counter. New pop will also be brought in and their lines will be flushed.
“The slanted floor is original. We kept all the original brass sconces that are there since 1938. I have kept everything that I can from 1938 intact,” said Geddes.
She highlighted how there was a period in the past where the theatre had been shut down for 10 years, and that the pandemic won’t see the end of it.
“We are going to open again…I’ve been fortunate with good staff, good personality and giving a welcoming feeling. Service is everything,” she said.
“I don’t have any control over the movies, but if you can give guests the service and make it a place where they feel comfortable, that’s important. I don’t want to be ahead of that.”
Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: email@example.com