Ann McLaughlin, who runs the historic Webster Theater in Webster City, says they’ll be reopening the single-screen theater tonight. “We’ve had a lot of people asking when we were going to open again,” McLaughlin says. “We did get a lot of folks coming to our Friday Night Movies outdoors and our popcorn sales that we did in the early days. I think everybody’s really ready just to come back, sit in and see a good movie.”
Originally opened in 1906, the Webster Theater closed due to this year’s pandemic on March 17th. McLaughlin says new safety protocols will be in place this weekend and for the foreseeable future. “Masks will be required for employees and for patrons,” McLaughlin says. “We have a seating chart so when you come into the movie, you’ll be asked to pick which seat you want to sit in. There will be clusters of seats so families can sit together and you’ll be asked to always stay in that seat during the movie.”
What she described as enhanced cleaning procedures will also be employed throughout the facility, but adds, you can take off your mask to enjoy drinks and snacks while you’re in your assigned seat. McLaughlin says Hollywood is slowly returning to the business of making films.
“From what I understand, the movies have started being made again,” McLaughlin says. “What we’re seeing now are movies that were supposed to be released earlier in the year and then have been pushed back.” The Webster Theater will feature the movie, “The New Mutants,” for its grand reopening.
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)