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Movie Showings Officially Return To The Reg Lenna

Pictured Wednesday, from left, are Brittany Kilbury, Harper and Connor, all of Jamestown, shortly before a “The Croods: A New Age” played at the Reg Lenna Center for The Arts. The Reg reopened its movie theater to the public after previously closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. P-J photos by Eric Tichy

The smell of popcorn filled the lobby of the Reg Lenna Center for The Arts on Wednesday, unmistakable proof that movie-going has officially returned.

The first showing, “The Croods: A New Age,” seemed an ideal kid-friendly choice for the theater as students across the region remain on spring break from school. That was certainly the case for Jamestown resident Brittany Kilbury and her kids, Harper and Connor, who were among the first inside the iconic theater that has been slightly altered to accommodate for COVID-19 precautions.

For the Kilburys, it was the first time inside a movie theater in more than a year.

“My friend told me they were playing again,” Brittany Kilbury said. “We wanted to see ‘The Croods’ so this worked out perfectly.”

The Reg plans to show “The Croods” during another showing Saturday at 2 p.m.

Kate Rinko is pictured with boxes of popcorn shortly before Wednesday’s first showing at the Reg Lenna Center for The Arts.

According to Len Barry, director of marketing and communications, seating is limited due to social distancing mandates. Masks are required of all patrons, and all tickets must be purchased ahead of time.

Additionally, the temperature of each patron is checked upon entering, while contactless concession sales and social distancing markers have been placed at the theater. All patrons will be shown to socially distanced seats by ushers.

Barry said all surfaces in the theater are being cleaned between movie showings. New, compliant air filters have been installed in the theater.

Throughout April, The Reg will screen several Academy Award Best Picture nominees including “Judas and the Black Messiah” (April 16 at 7 p.m.), “Minari” (April 21 at 7 p.m.), “Promising Young Woman” (April 23 at 7 p.m.), “The Father” (April 28 at 7 p.m.) and “Sound of Metal” (April 30 at 7 p.m.).

Tickets for “The Croods” are $6 per patron. Tickets for the other movies are $7 each, with the addition of a $1 fee for additional cleaning of the theater due to COVID-19.

Tickets may be purchased online at reglenna.com or by phone at 484-7070. Box office hours are Monday from noon to 5 p.m. and Wednesday and Friday from noon to 8 p.m. The box office is closed on April 2.

In an interview in early March, the Buffalo-based Dipson Theaters said it hoped to reopen its Lakewood location the first week of May.

“That’s the goal,” said Bryan Spokane, Dipson vice president, noting the need for new movies to be available for showing. “It all comes down to the product — the biggest issue will be the product.”

Dipson operates three local theaters: Lakewood Cinema 8, the Chautauqua Mall Cinema I and II and Warren Mall Cinemas. At the moment, the Lakewood movie theater has been available for private showings.

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