Movie theaters, paid parking lots, and Macy’s are all coming back as local restrictions on COVID-19 relax. Famously, in the Dustin Hoffman movie Outbreak, particles from a single cough in a crowded movie theater go flying into a laughing audience’s mouths, infecting dozens with an Ebola-like virus. To keep that graphically chilling scenario from getting too real, all reopenings come with face coverings, frequent disinfection, health checks for employees, and social distancing of six feet.
Metropolitan Theatres will reopen the Metro 4 Theatre and the Camino Real Cinemas on June 26. To keep any contagion to a minimum, Metro asks patrons who don’t feel well or have been in contact with sick people to stay home. Likewise, employees’ temperatures are taken before each shift. Seating will be marked six feet apart, and patrons are encouraged to buy tickets in advance online. They can expect to find barriers in the high-traffic areas to ensure social distancing and a requirement for face coverings except in the theater auditorium. Frequent disinfection is on the menu; self-service drink and condiment areas will be handled by staff members in protective gear.
Ticket prices are $5 for the Metro’s opening, which will begin with older film favorites because studios moved film release dates back when the pandemic shut the nation. The prior releases in each theater have yet to be determined, but among the lineup are Knives Out, The Wretched, Midway, and The Goonies. By July 1, the thriller Unhinged with Russell Crowe will screen, followed by The Broken Hearts Gallery with Selena Gomez on July 10, the live-action Mulan on July 24, and Christopher Nolan’s Tenet on July 31.
Macy’s at La Cumbre Plaza reopened on Thursday to shorter hours, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and has curbside pickup of goods during the same hours. Masks are being worn in the store, and employees interact from behind plexiglass shields, keeping social distancing and cleaning hard surfaces frequently.
Santa Barbara’s downtown employees and visitors have enjoyed unlimited free parking for several months, but that all comes to an end on June 22. Parking lot attendants will be back in their kiosks, and cars will be back on 75-minute-free status and $1.50 per hour after that.
Correction: “Tenet” has been pushed from July 17 to July 31. Films change dates and times routinely, and more are sure to be added by July 1, so stay tuned.
At the Santa Barbara Independent, our staff continues to cover every aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Support the important work we do by making a