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What to expect as Florida movie theaters slowly reopen

DELTONA, Fla. – The buttery popcorn is back as movies theaters begin reopening.

Epic Theatres is slowly welcoming back guests as they continue to open locations throughout Florida.

Weegee DeMarsh is the IT Manager at Epic Theatres of West Volusia and explained the safety protocols they’ve since put in place due to the coronavirus. The Deltona theater opened its building last Friday.

“It’s been a long time coming for all of us. We’ve done a lot of work behind the scenes to get to this point,” DeMarsh said.

DeMarsh said they put cue lines throughout the building to distance people as they're waiting. He also explained in their Covid-19 safety video that they're no longer accepting cash but will replace the money with a gift card for folks to use instead. DeMarsh said they have ore pre-packaged foods at concessions and blocked off water fountains to maintain social distancing.

He also stressed the enhanced cleaning procedures on counter tops, high contact surfaces and bathrooms.

"We also bought fogging equipment that sprays a chemical mist on top of the seats after they've been used so we can disinfect the seats after use," he said.

Moviegoers will be staggered when seating and the theaters are operating at 50 percent capacity, according to DeMarsh. But, it’s not just Epic Theatres that are opening its doors. AMC Theaters will open on Aug. 20, Regal Theaters open on Aug. 21 and some Cinemark locations are already open while others will open Aug. 21.

But if folks are still not sure about taking their movie experience indoors, DeMarsh said they still have the drive-in option.

"As long as people are still interested in the drive in, we think it offers a great option for people who maybe aren't quite ready to come into the theater yet. They can still get out and enjoy a movie and get some popcorn," he said. "We're just excited to be back and serving the community again."

Epic Theatres at Lee Vista in Orlando will open Friday. The location in Palm Coast will open next weekend.


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