- Insider has learned that Iowa-based movie theater chain Fridley Theatres will be the first to show movies on an Imax screen since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the country.
- Both Imax and Fridley Theatres have confirmed its plan to Insider.
- Beginning Friday, its The Palms Theatres location in Waukee will be showing "Bloodshot" and a digital remastered version of "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark."
- By June 1, movie theaters could be open in as many as 25 states, according to an executive with knowledge of the situation (the person spoke anonymously to Insider, but their identity is known and has been confirmed).
- Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
In another sign that the movie industry is beginning to take steps toward some kind of normalcy, Fridley Theatres, the largest Iowa-owned theater chain, will be the first in the country to show movies on an Imax screen.
Beginning Friday, its The Palms Theatres location in Waukee will be having Imax showings of the Vin Diesel movie "Bloodshot" and a digital remastered version of "Indian Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark."
"Reopening theaters will be a phased, measured process that begins with library films, reduced seating capacity, and enhanced safety protocols," Imax said in a statement to Insider. "It will take time to get the box office back to full strength, but you have to start somewhere. We're happy to support our exhibition partners who our able to open safely and in keeping with local health guidelines."
Fridley Theatres opened a few of its locations last weekend after the governor of Iowa, Kim Reynolds, allowed movie theaters to reopen at 50% capacity. Most of the Fridley Theatres located in Iowa will reopen by this weekend, Russell Vannorsdel, the vice president of Fridley Theatres told Insider. (The theater it owns in Nebraska is not allowed to open yet.)
Like other theaters that have reopened already, Fridley says it's taking steps to keep patrons and staff safe.
Vannorsdel told Insider that all staff members are wearing masks (though patrons are not required to, the CDC recommends to wear cloth face coverings while in public), plexiglass has been set up at all point-of-sale locations, groups coming can't be any larger than six people, and along with practicing social distancing inside the theaters, ushers are inside to walk moviegoers to their seats to make sure social distancing is in place. Along with frequently wiping down and disinfecting all surfaces, the chain is doing 30-minute breaks between movie showings to allow for extra cleaning time of the auditoriums.
"We are excited to be reopening The Palms Theatres," Fridley said in a statement to Insider. "It is our distinct pleasure to be the first Imax in the US to reopen. Fridley Theatres will be following safe reopening guidelines set forth in our 'Commitment to Communities' pledge. Our goal is to bring the excitement of Imax back into Iowans lives, but in a safe environment for guests and employees."
As we approach June, more and more theaters will attempt to reopen. Movie theaters could be open in as many as 25 states by the start of the month, one executive with knowledge of the situation told Insider. That executive spoke anonymously with Insider, but their identity is known and has been confirmed.
This is all leading up for the industry to potentially come back at full power when Christopher Nolan's "Tenet" opens in theaters on July 17.
In the meantime, at least in Iowa, you can go watch "Raiders of the Lost Ark" on a really big screen.
Read the original article on Insider