For 39 years, Rich Adams has owned Scotia Cinema. It’s a secondary movie theater, usually offering $5 tickets for screenings.
“This is what a movie looks like these days,” Adams said as he pulled out a hard drive from a box UPS just dropped off.
On it there is the film “War with Grandfather”. It’s the first movie Adams has received in seven months. Movie theaters were closed for the majority of the COVID-19 pandemic, until earlier this month when Governor Andrew Cuomo announced it could reopen in limited capacity.
“I come here every day. Even a few times a day,” Adams said. “I did a deep cleaning. We prepared for the inevitable reopening.”
With guidance and the go-ahead from the state, Adams is making sure all is well for her reopening. But Adams doesn’t have the second run option right now, which is why he’s showing “The War With Grandpa.”
“It got really good reviews from audiences, so we hope people enjoy it and we hope people are ready to come back to theaters,” Adams said.
It has only one screen with 320 seats. But only 50 people will be allowed in, around 15% of capacity. Masks must be worn at all times and the theater will be cleaned between performances.
“Hopefully this will put everyone at ease, that everything will be very clean and very safe,” Adams said.
On opening day there is a queue with about half a dozen people waiting to get in. As the clock strikes 4 p.m., 15 minutes ahead of its time, the doors open and customers come in to buy tickets and snacks.
“It’s a comedy, and I think I may have seen a preview,” one couple said. “But I think I would have come no matter what was playing out.”
With snacks in hand, they’ll settle into their favorite seats. Only a handful of people work on the first screening, including Adams who handles the box office.
“Looks like I never left,” Adams said. “I’ve been waiting for this day for seven months. Finally here and I feel like I’ve never left.”
There are 10 performances this week with tickets at $9 for adults and $6 for children.
It starts slowly, but he hopes it will pick up. Adams is just happy to be back. As the clock reads 4:15 p.m., the trailers begin and Adams is another movie closer to four decades of running a movie theater.