A movie theater chain headquartered in suburban Downers Grove is re-opening all of its locations on Thursday, as big budget blockbusters slowly return to the big screen.
Classic Cinemas operates fifteen theaters in Illinois and Wisconsin, and said social distancing and other safety measures, including masks, will be in place as theaters open for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“We are so excited to be back open after more than a year of being closed,” said vice president of marketing Kat Clary.
The public’s movie-viewing habits may have pivoted more toward streaming services during the pandemic, but Classic Cinemas said it is hearing from customers who are ready to return to theaters.
“I think everybody is looking forward to the big screen, the bold sound, the buttery crunch of movie theater popcorn,” Clary said.
Clary points to the recent box office success of “Godzilla vs. Kong” as evidence that the public is still interested in seeing films on the big screen.
Marlon Smith of Oak Park told NBC 5 he is ready to go back to the movies.
“I have not watched a movie on my phone, ever, and so I can only really enjoy them on a big screen and maybe sometimes at home,” Smith said.
While some may be looking forward to the movie-going experience, others are taking a slower approach.
“I’m not exactly sure if I’m ready to go back as of tomorrow, though, if I’m being honest,” said Josh Tatro of Oak Park. “But I am excited to move more towards that normal.”