BUTTE, Mont. - The Mining City's only cinema is starting up the popcorn machine and opening its doors again on Friday, Sept. 4.
Golden Ticket Cinemas in Butte has had a tough few months. The theater had planned to open up under new ownership in March, but the coronavirus pandemic made that impossible.
Still, management tried to make the most of the brief intermission.
"We just started the process for getting our new chairs in, so we're hoping to have that done by the end of the year, as well as a new kitchen for food and whatnot," explains General Manager Noah Rubin. The lobby of the movie theater will also look much different once renovations are done.
Now that Hollywood is starting to get back on track with new releases, it's showtime for Butte's only cinema.
"We're excited for folks to come back to the movies and we hope people take advantage of the opportunity to come back and support their local cinema," says Rubin.
It's September, and we're now past the summer 'blockbuster season.' Normally, blockbusters can mean big bucks for movie theaters.
"On a busier day," Rubin says of their summer season, "we'd be doing 800-1000 people on average for attendance."
But all of those big summer 2020 movies - like Tenet and Mulan - got pushed back or moved online. Without that boost, Golden Ticket got creative to stay afloat. They reopened for about a month over the summer, showing classic movies and selling carry-out popcorn.
"We didn't take a big hit," says Rubin. "We rearranged our strategy for things and we worked out some deals with our financial clients and we were able to offset those losses."
Your moviegoing experience might be a little different than you're used to come Friday, starting with theaters only filling to half of their normal capacity.
Here's a preview of what to expect:
- Every other row will be taped off to make sure there is enough distance between each person.
- Moviegoers will have to wear masks, per the State of Montana mandate
- You'll be asked to sit with the people you came in with. No parties of six or more people.
The theater will be screening new titles, along with an odd classic film or two, with up to 15 screenings a day between all of the theaters.
The shows start at 4 PM on Friday, Sept. 4. Golden Ticket will be open on weekends (Friday through Sunday) and Tuesdays for a few months, but it will eventually begin showing movies every day of the week.