Kansas movie theaters can open Friday but some will wait a little longer

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Movie theaters can open on Friday under the modified Phase 2 plan Governor Laura Kelly announced Tuesday, but the short notice is forcing some to wait a little longer before raising the curtain.

“It’s hard to open up a theater in a two or three days notice,” said Brian Mitchell, co-owner Mitchell Theaters.

“We have to book the films, and then get in the hard drives for the films, make sure those hard drives work. It’s definitely a process,” said Kristina Helm, business consultant for Derby Plaza Theaters.

That’s why Derby Plaza Theaters have decided to wait a week.

“We had already planned on the 29th and had booked some films for the 29th already. I’m just going to go ahead and stick with the 29th,” said Lori Armstrong, owner Derby Plaza Theaters.

Mitchell Theaters co-owner Brian Mitchell said it’s only able to squeeze in opening its Newton location Friday. The El Dorado, Cowley County, and Elkhart locations will open May 29.

“But the Garden City and Liberal theaters are with the packing plant towns with some of the cases. We’re going to hold off on those. We want to make sure people feel safe and the cases go down out there,” said Mitchell.

Until new Hollywood blockbusters roll out, the theaters are turning to retro movies on the big screen.

“‘With the blast from the past ‘The Goonies,’ ‘Wizard of Oz,’ said Armstrong.

“The Retro movies is something you don’t do very often but these are unusual circumstances,” said Mitchell.

As a precaution, they will limit capacity and spread show times out to give more time for cleaning.

“We’re going to do our best to keep our employees safe keep you guys safe but yet we’re all going to slowly start enjoying the magic of movies together again,” said Mitchell.

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