INDIAN LAND, S.C. — A night at the movie theater, it’s about to be an option.
Redstone 14 Cinemas in Indian Land just announced it’s reopening in two weeks on August 28th.
This as movie theaters across the country face an uncertain future.
Since the 1950’s — movie theatres have been ingrained in American culture.
There’s just something special about popcorn and a good movie on a Friday night.
“People are always going want that giant screen – and reaction from people around them,” Edmund Whitmore of Indian Land said.
“For my grandkids – my wife- I can’t think of a better place,” Karl Massey of Rock Hill said.
Dale Coleman remembers the golden age of cinema well. His family owned a drive in theater when he was child – and he hasn’t left the business since.
“The first memories I have as a young boy is picking up the ramps and helping my dad operate the drive-in,” Coleman said.
Coleman is the vice president of Stone Theatres – including Redstone 14 Cinemas in Indian Land. He says during the best of times – it was like a sports game.
“It was crowded. It was exciting. It was fun,” Coleman said.
It’s not so fun anymore. The popcorn machine is empty – and so are the seats.
Like movie theatres across the country — Redstone 14 Cinemas in Indian Land has been closed since March.
“All of our years – we have never seen anything like this. It really breaks our heart,” Coleman said.
It’s also breaking the bank. Coleman says grants helped – but they’ve run out.
He’s worried theaters across America will go dark — for good.
“Movie theaters have been hit as hard or harder as any business in America – and we desperately need the help,” Coleman said.
In South Carolina – Governor McMaster has allowed movie theaters to reopen at 50 percent capacity. Redstone will have an audience for the first time in months on August 28th with strict guidelines.
“We can operate our business as safe – and we feel safer – then restaurants and other retail establishments that have been allowed to open,” Coleman said.
Like in the many movies he’s shown, Coleman still believes in a happy ending.
“There’s nothing quiet like getting away, getting lost in a big auditorium with a group of people – and escaping the trials and tribulations of daily life.” // Coleman
There’s a national hashtag,#SaveYourCinemas, and a website with information on how you can contact your congressperson.
That cause is organized by the National Association of Theatre Owners. It says movie theaters employ more than 150,000 people across the country.
In the video above, CN2’s Indira Eskieva has why they’re asking Congress to step up and help.