At the movies: What to expect when going to a movie theater in Springfield this summer

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Alamo Drafthouse and Regal College Station Stadium 14 are the latest theaters in Springfield to announce their re-opening.

Alamo Drafthouse on S. Campbell will re-open on April 28, and Regal in downtown Springfield will re-open on May 21.

These are the last two of the four movie theaters in Springfield to re-open. The Moxie Cinema re-opened in August 2020 to allow in-person seating with limited ticket sales to 25%, 30 people in total, to ensure social distancing. Springfield 11 AMC Theater has also been open since August 2020 with several health and safety policies.

Jennifer Johnmeyer, creative manager at Alamo Drafthouse, says the decision to re-open was based on the COVID-19 climate in Springfield.

“Given the availability of the vaccines and the general uptick in health, and the movies not being pushed back like they were, we are going to re-open Alamo Drafthouse,” says Johnmeyer.

After its opening on April 28, the theater will only be open Thursday-Sunday each week, with only ten of the 14 theaters actively showing movies. Johnmeyer expects to be fully open seven days a week, with all theaters running by Memorial Day.

What to expect as a movie-goer:

  • Must wear masks except when eating or drinking
  • Two-seat buffer between each party
  • Staff will be cleaning surfaces every 30 minutes

Between screenings, theaters will be cleaned. Hand sanitizers will be placed throughout the building.

Now, Springfield City Council has voted to move the city into the yellow phase of the re-opening plan on Friday. This means there will be no occupancy limitations, social distancing will be a suggestion, and masking will remain required. Johnmeyer says Alamo will stick with the corporate occupancy rules of max capacity at 40%.

Ozarks First reached out to some of the theaters to see if they would be following the local health guidelines or corporate guidelines. Mike Stevens with The Moxie Cinema in downtown Springfield says the theater is, “Currently working on ways to increase capacity from 25 to 50% of available seats by the end of April, but we will not be going to full capacity yet.”

Springfield 11 AMC did not respond by the time this story was published.

Johnmeyer says as far as staffing the Alamo goes, the theater will hire former employees. In March of 2020, Alamo laid off nearly 200 employees due to the pandemic.

The theater did re-open for a while during the pandemic but had to shut its doors due to a lack of new releases. Johnmeyer says that won’t be an issue this time.

“As movies have shifted in and out of the schedule, other movies have jumped in to fill their spot. We actually have quite a bit of new content coming out,” she says.

Some of those new releases you can expect are:

  • Mortal Kombat
  • Lord of the Rings Cast Reunion Special
  • Dazed and Confused Cast Reunion Special
  • A Quiet Place Part Two
  • Cruella
  • And more

Johnmeyer says for those who are not ready to attend the theater in person, “Hang in there; we’ll be here for you when you’re ready. We don’t ever want anybody to be uncomfortable coming in, but we promise we are going to take care of them and keep them safe.”

She says she expects a good turnout of movie lovers on April 28.

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