Updated: February 14, 2021 10:31 PM
Created: February 14, 2021 03:06 PM
People have been waiting for months to return to the movies. Now, Northlanders can watch their favorite films on the big screen again at the Marcus Movie Theatre in Duluth.
“Excitement. That would be the number one feedback. People are glad to be out of the house doing stuff and seeing a movie that they love,” Shawn Fennessey, General Manager said.
The theatre closed back in March of 2020 for roughly eight months as a result of the pandemic. They reopened in November, but had to shut their doors again on account of Governor Tim Walz’s executive orders until January of 2021. Now, they hope to be open for the foreseeable future.
“Movies are an escape,” Fennessey said. “You get out of your house to do something and escape whatever you want in your own head for a while and see other people's stories.”
To keep everyone safe, Fennessey said the theatre has adopted what they call ‘Star Protocol,’ which stands for social distancing, thorough cleaning, ordering food on the app ahead of time and respecting all guests and employees.
“The more people that come and experience how much of a safe and sanitized area it is, the more they are coming back and other people are hearing about it and they’re coming so it’s kind of a chain reaction,” Fennessey said.
According to Fennessey, the theatre has adopted a checker board seating arrangement, so that no one will be sitting directly in front of, next to or behind anyone else. “We're following the Governor's orders, so we are at 25% capacity per theatre,” Fennessey said.
Kendra Kilgore, Assistant Manager said the theatre is also offering a new program called Marcus Private Cinema.
“You can rent out a theatre right now for $99 and up. 20 people. You can have a whole theatre to yourself and still social distance even with family and friends,” Kilgore said.
Kilgore said this has been great for birthday parties.
“Kids are so happy! And a lot of parents like surprises, so kids think they are just seeing a movie with their parents and then all of their family members show up so that’s really great to see,” Kilgore said.
Movie options at the theatre will include both family favorites and new films, so that movie goers can reflect on the best of the past and find future favorites.
On Sunday, Luke Darwin of Superior attended a movie at Marcus theatre for the first time in months. He expressed his excitement about being back.
“It’s very nice. Just getting back to normal is huge,” Darwin said. “When I was a kid, we used to come on Sunday’s a lot and it just feels like of good to be back.”