The Beacon Cinema in downtown Pittsfield announces its re-opening along with detailed plans for public safety.

Cory Jacobson, owner of Phoenix Theatres which operates The Beacon said the following:

This challenge was completely unexpected and affects literally everyone in the world, we have faith in the human need to interact with one another and the art we present at the movies. It is unique to our American experience, as movies are one of our greatest cultural contributions to the world. Our business is local and very social by nature and is uniquely disadvantaged in a pandemic crisis.

The movie industry took a huge hit during the pandemic, not just closing local theatres, but all production was stopped on new feature films as well. The film studios responded by rescheduling the majority of films originally slated to be released in 2020 to 2021.

From the beginning, Phoenix Theatres decided to proactively shift their focus to offer solutions that could make a difference. “Our management group has spent the past ten months working on developing a comprehensive plan to carefully re-open our theatres with the help of the National Association of Theatre Owners, Dr. Daniel Z. Uslan, epidemiologist from U.C.L.A., and the most current CDC guidance,” Jacobson said. “Our next theatre to re-open will be Pittsfield’s Beacon Cinema to support the return of Hollywood’s blockbuster movies to the big screen in the spring.”

A new reserved seating program was installed in the theatres computer system to ensure proper social distancing. Guests will be able to select their seats in advance either on the website or the newly developed mobile app. The computer will automatically remove two seats between each pair sold, creating a checkerboard style pattern. This will provide six feet of separation between guests to safely social distance while watching a film.

“Prior to re-opening, we will be traveling to our theatre in Massachusetts, with a small, specialized training group to individually work with every employee,” said Sheena Hohman, Director of Employee Training and Development. “This will ensure a complete understanding of the importance of following the newly established guidelines for operations. By providing our employees with the tools and training necessary we can establish a safe movie-going environment for our employees and guests.”

Phoenix Theatres plans to incorporate both CDC and local government standards on how a theatre should safely operate. Working closely with the National Association of Theatre Owners the company has established new safety protocols for every aspect of the theatre:

· We have social distancing guidelines in all common areas and most importantly in the theatre auditoriums. The seating layout will automatically be configured within our reserved seating computer software, so that customers will not be within six feet of other guests who are not in their family group.

· Employees are required to wear face masks and other protective equipment.

· Guests will be required to wear face masks when moving about the theatre.

· We have streamlined transactions at the ticketing and concession stand to further minimize touchpoints.

· We use a food-grade disinfectant spray on all seats that removes 99.99% of all viruses on surfaces within 30 seconds.

· We will also use this disinfectant spray on high touchpoints throughout the building including the restrooms and concession areas.

· Hand sanitizer stations will also be provided for customer use throughout the theatre.

So what's playing when The Beacon reopens at the end of this month? Here are your coming attractions:

February 26:

  • Searchlight’s critically acclaimed film “Nomadland,” starring Frances McDormand,
  • Warner Brother’s “Tom & Jerry”
  • Universal Pictures’ “The Croods - A New Age”
  • Warner Brother’s new Denzel Washington film “The Little Things”
  • Warner Brother’s “Wonder Woman 1984,” starring Gal Gadot
  • Universal’s new Tom Hanks film “News of The World.”

March 5:

  • Walt Disney Studios’ new animated film “Raya and the Last Dragon


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