Harlan Theatre plans June 5 re-opening
HARLAN -- The Harlan Theatre will officially be back in business on Friday, June 5, reopening after a two-and-a-half month hiatus due to COVID-19.
Sharon Lucke, co-owner and operator of the Harlan Theatre along with her husband, Kevin, said that all safeguards and precautions are being taken to ensure the safety of customers and compliance with state health guidelines.
By orders of Governor Kim Reynolds, the theater closed its doors on March 17. Movie theaters in the state were allowed to reopen on May 22.
“We’re excited,” Lucke said. “I know that people are calling and asking when we’re going to open, so I hope that we have people come to the theater again and that they think it’s a safe place to go and know that we are taking as many precautions as we can to keep people safe.
“We’re looking forward to it. We’re getting ready and we’ll see what happens on June 5.”
The Harlan Theatre plans to be open every night but will only use three of its four auditoriums until new movies start being released later this summer.
Initially, the Luckes will show three movies - I Still Believe, Trolls World Tour, The Way Back - that were current in theaters at the time of the closure.
After that, the Harlan Theatre will start genre weeks on June 19, including Spielberg Week and Musicals Week. Other possibilities include Hitchcock Week, Don Knotts Week, Clint Eastwood Week and 80’s Week.
Each genre week would feature multiple movie classics from that category with admission prices set at half price - $3 for adults/seniors and $2 for children. Genre weeks will likely continue past July 17, when the first new summer movie is scheduled for release.
“I’m going to have those going as long as I can until we really get a good schedule of movies that I’ll be able to fill up all the screens,” said Lucke.
During the closure, the Harlan Theatre has been spruced up with new paint jobs on all the front walls and two of the theater floors. All of the seats have been cleaned and disinfected and bathrooms and concession areas will also be max-cleaned prior to the reopening.
“We should be ready to go and ready to welcome people in,” Lucke said.
The following safeguards will be in place when the Harlan Theatre reopens its doors.
• Every other row will be blocked off in each auditorium with three empty seats (six feet) between parties.
• A six-foot social distancing requirement will be enforced in the concessions area as well as in line waiting for tickets.
• Patrons are welcome to wear masks but are not required to do so.
• All employees will be wearing masks and gloves, and all counters will have plexiglass partitions separating employees and customers.
• All employees will have their temperature checked when they arrive for the day.
• Bathrooms, common handles, door knobs, etc. will be cleaned more frequently - up to three or four times per night.
• The gap time between showings will increase to allow employees to clean the auditorium, seats and cupholders.
• Movie start times will be staggered apart by 30 minutes to avoid crowds arriving for three movies at the same time.
“There will be plenty of time for people to come in, get their concessions and get sat down (before) the next movie crowd comes in,” Lucke said.
Lucke did caution, however, that customers should plan ahead and be prepared for a longer wait to get to their seats. Markers will be placed by the entrance, the ticket stand and the concession stand area - six feet apart - and each party must stay behind their marker until the next area opens up.
Lucke plans to have all the rules posted on the Harlan Theatre’s Facebook page soon.
“Customers need to expect it’s going to take longer to come in, buy a ticket and get concessions than it used to be, so I want them to be aware of that. Allow for extra time,” she said.
This article is available free as a service to our community during the coronavirus outbreak.
Please support local journalism by creating an account & buy a paper for $1 each, or buy a 1-year online subscription for $39.95 (104 Issues)