BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Theaters have finally reopened their doors and right now many inside are enjoying their time back in front of the big screen. Friday, 23ABC was able to speak with movie goers about their experience.
Kern County has officially moved into the red tier which allows for additional entities to reopen inside operations-including movie theaters. The Maya Cinemas is one of many theaters opening their doors on Friday at times with lines out the doors, which have been closed since early March.
"It was fun, it was exciting and it added a sense of normalcy back to our lives so it was different inside but it was a good experience," said Heather Talbit, a Bakersfield resident.
The movie experience according to Maya cinemas is going to be different for customers. Here are some new changes, all Maya Cinemas guests must wear masks while inside, hand sanitizer stations throughout, no more self-serving for concession areas, and all must remain 6ft apart while inside waiting in lines. The theater has also has spaced out seating with new cleaning protocols to go along.
"So in our theaters, we clean between every show and we sanitize all the seats. Armrests, handrails tables and we use a fogger that sanitizes the seats to keep everything safe," said Josh Kortknap, general manager of Maya Cinemas.
Under state guidelines for counties in the red tier, theaters can open at 25% capacity or 100 guests. So far according to the general manager of the theater, Friday night's turnout exceeded their expectations.
"Turnout has been amazing we were expecting around 5, 6 maybe 700 people but we surpassed that by noon and we already have done 1,100 so far today so we are pretty close to regular operating levels today," said Kortknap.
Some of the customers I spoke with say they felt safe while attending and are hoping to see more places open up with similar guidelines.
La'Tionna Porter/ customer
"This is something I like doing so I decided to give it a shot and I'm not that afraid of cover or anything," said La'Tionna Porter, a Maya Cinemas customer.
The theater wants to remind everyone if you plan on attending a show to be sure to purchase online and to check their website for all updated Hours.