Movie theaters are opening up again in Orange County

Popcorn at a concession stand getting ready to be served. Dbreen/Pixabay/courtesy

Movie theaters – one of young adults’ and students favorite past times is reopening in Orange County.

Normalcy is on the horizon with movie theaters all over Orange County reopening in the past month. Since the COVID-19 pandemic many movie theaters have had to permanently close their doors. But some have managed to stay afloat with help of donations – such as Regal Edwards in Aliso Viejo, California and the Frida Cinema in Santa Ana, California.

Orange County residents are eager to return to their favorite hangout spots to watch brand new and upcoming movies on the big screen.

Of course with movie theaters reopening, there will be mandatory protocol and more sanitation services since movie theaters are indoor facilities.

Maria Marquez, assistant manager of Regal Edwards in Aliso Viejo, California, shares her experience with working at this specific theater during the pandemic and what to expect from theaters reopening. Marquez has worked for the theater for eight years and has been assistant manager for the past two years. Marquez shares that she was furloughed from March 2020 to April 2021.

“I was furloughed and then the theater opened up again in August 2020 and I was not able to come back and I was finally able to come back last month,” Marquez said.

Marquez addresses the theater’s current protocols and how they have changed since before COVID-19.

“We are open but our seating is different. So in the auditoriums we skip every other row So if there’s like, ten rows in an auditorium we’re only using like, five of them,” Marquez said. “There are also mask mandates, also our concession stand is only doing sodas, popcorns and candy to keep it really simple. We also have only one place to buy your tickets which is at our concession stand, so we’re not using our box office.”

Marquez also talked about the ticketing situation for the theater.

“It’s easier to use our application because you can just buy them on their right away and we can just scan you inside or you can buy them at the concession stand so everything is just in one place rather than going from box office to concession and interacting with more people,” Marquez said.

Marquez also answers questions about the theater’s sanitation protocols and what employees do to keep the theater and auditoriums clean.

“When a theater gets out we use our thing called a fogger. It’s basically this machine that fogs the theater with sanitizer. We also only have a few restrooms open so we can keep the cleaning to a minimum because there’s only so much staff that we can have right now. So with that staff we’re able to go into every single bathroom and clean them,” Marquez said.

With that being said, Marquez was also asked about how the employment at the theater has changed and what capacity staffing is at right now.

“Management-wise there’s only like four of us and employee-wise we’re only at twenty five, which is really low for us especially when we’re used to having fifty plus employees and eight managers,” Marquez said.

So if anyone is looking to get out of the house and go out to watch a movie, Regal Edwards in Aliso Viejo is open for business and eager to welcome guests back!