ENCINITAS, Calif. – Soon enough, tickets will be flowing and popcorn popping again at the nearly century-old La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.
Starting Wednesday, San Diego County enters California’s red reopening tier, up from the most-restrictive purple tier where it has been for months. Under the rules of the new tier, businesses such as movie theaters can reopen indoors at up to 25% capacity or 100 people — whichever is fewer.
La Paloma Theatre plans to reopen Friday with screenings of “Nomadland” and “Promising Young Woman,” owner Allen Largent said. He says he can’t wait to awaken the treasured community staple while also pulling in much-needed revenue after being closed since November.
“We are the only single-screen operating theater in San Diego,” he said, “and I would dare say the oldest.”
While the venue has been shuttered, Largent has been renting out the upstairs area and working with the building’s landlord to stay afloat.
“Enough to pay to keep the lights on and keep the insurance in place, but that’s about it,” he said.
Guests are asked to social distance and can get tickets online or in-person.
“We’ve got some dust here and there so were vacuuming and cleaning things up making sure everything’s clean and sanitized,” Largent said. “And then the usual stuff that goes along with booking the films got to get the one sheets, the movie posters.”
Several other local movie theaters told FOX 5 they’re prepping for reopening as well. Many will be ready to screen on Friday, while others still are prepping.
Movie giant AMC opened two of its theaters Monday near Los Angeles.
Come Friday, AMC will open doors at nearly all its California locations, including in San Diego.
“The notion of dinner and a movie on a date isn’t going to go away anytime soon,” Largent said. “It’s a social staple of America, you know? I think that we’ll rebound. It’s just a matter of time and weathering the storm.”