A movie theater chain operating in Alabama and Florida is offering private screenings for up to twenty people.
Cinema and movie theater concept background. Empty rows of red seats with pop corn.
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Four months and counting of this ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and it appears this new practice of social distancing will remain the norm for quite a while. But we are becoming fatigued of staying home. While some businesses are trying to find ways to resume business safely from drive-in concerts to patio dining at restaurants, there are still things we miss. One of those things? We miss actually leaving the house and going to the movies, not just streaming from the couch. Some movie theaters have re-opened at reduced capacity with safety measures in place. But if you aren’t quite comfortable mingling with the general public yet, a group of movie theaters in Alabama and Florida has another option for you.

At Touchstar Cinemas, which have locations in Florida and Alabama, you can rent an entire movie theater for a screening of one of the films that location is offering for $100. The schedule changes but you can find the lists for each location here. The group of discount movie houses regularly air a wide variety of classic films from Ghostbusters to The Karate Kid, to the summer classic, Jaws. The private screenings are limited to 20 guests or less, so if you’ve been isolating with the family, or you have a bubble of folks you are socializing with, ten folks at $10 a pop doesn’t sound like a bad deal. But there is no minimum either, so if you’re willing to dish out the Benjamin, you can go enjoy a flick solo or with just your significant other too. One employee, Tom, at their South Chase location in Orlando told Southern Living that they have hosted a family of three in the theater, and they don’t mind. “Our owners are very health conscious and have doctors in the family. We have adapted our practices to make it as safe as possible.” Tom also told us one member of staff is dedicated to sanitizing anything and everything that anyone may have touched.

The theater chain has also implemented very strict safety measures for anyone who enters their theaters. The complete list of those new practices can be found here, but they include mandatory temperature checks for all who enter, mandatory face masks for all staff, and they also “strongly urge our guests to wear a face mask in our lobby, hallway, restroom, and other common areas. We recommend that masks remain on while you are seated when you are not eating/drinking.”

While the theaters will still have showings for the general public, at great discount prices and with extra measures to ensure a distance of two seats between all parties, in each location one to two theaters will be kept empty for those who wish to rent for their own private viewing.  

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It’s also not just vintage movies. Newer movies like Invisible Man and Trolls World Tour are also available, but renting a theater for a newer title will cost $125. The private screenings will take place in the smaller theaters that seat a maximum of 50, so even with 20 guests, you still have ample room to spread out. This could be a good idea for a socially distant birthday party for a small group of friends.