B&B Theatres’ Tulsa Starworld 20 is finally taking tickets again, after COVID-19 forced theaters across the country to take an unprecedented hiatus.
Employees at B&B Theatres said they're excited to bring Hollywood back to your hometown.
Darin Miller is the District Manager of B&B Theatres. Miller said he has been doing this for 25 years. His parents even ran a local theater growing up, and he was tearing tickets at 10 years old.
“I can watch [Jurassic Park] at home on my 65”, and yeah it’s still a good movie, but I’m going to come watch it this weekend on our grand screen, because there’s just something about sitting in the auditorium and watching on this huge screen with your bucket of popcorn and your drink,” said Miller. “There’s just nothing else like it. I mean, the founders of our business used to always say, 'You know, we’ve got kitchens in every home, but we still go out to restaurants, and that’s the reason we go to the movies.'”
Miller said he was heartbroken to see the big screens shut off, and for 5 months, more than 2000 employees like himself were furloughed.
“We’re a family owned business, and that core family stuck together, pulled through and just got it done. It’s been amazing,” said Miller. “We did curbside popcorn to help with the benefits so that none of our employees lost any of their benefits, so they didn’t have to go find alternative insurance.'
B&B Theatres is following the National Association of Theatre Owners’ regulations by sanitizing seats between shows, requiring masks, and spreading apart showtimes, with theaters at half capacity. Miller said the reserved seating helps everyone adhere to social distancing.
“It’s gone back and forth. I’ve seen, you know, ‘I’m not, you know, not going to the movies until there’s a vaccine,’ and I’ve seen, you know, ‘Open up now! Why won’t you open up? Please just open up,’” Miller said.
B&B Theatres also added sneeze guards at the registers, and while regular concessions will remain open, B&B Theatres is closing its kitchen through the end of this month.
One moviegoer said she's just glad her kids can finally look forward to something.
“A lot of things have been canceled,” said Waldron. “My kids have really been missing going out, and I feel like this is a safe place to go to, to enjoy family friendly entertainment.”
Retro movies are cheaper, but new releases will sell for standard ticket prices. Miller said both "Tenant" and Russell Crow’s new movie, "Unhinged", open soon. Waldron said, classic or new, movie theaters just do it right. She said her husband saw "Jurassic Park" in theatres at least eight times when it came out originally. Waldron said she and her husband are excited to share a little piece of their childhood with their kids.
“You're laughing with everyone,” said Julia Waldron. “You know that togetherness is something I think is really missing these days, and it's nice to be able to have that opportunity again."
Waldron said she is confident that B&B Theatres is protecting the public, as it opens its doors again.
“I think most businesses have been very careful with their sanitizing, and also allowing people the room to social distance if they need to, and I’m really excited that we get the chance to go to the movie theater again,” Waldron said.
Shows run from 3-8 p.m. during the week with earlier showtimes offered during weekends.
“I think by the time Thanksgiving gets here, then we will be back to our old schedule, but we will still keep it spaced so we have the time to clean,” Miller said.
Tulsa's AMC movie theater is set to open next Thursday. and on the day of reopening, ticket prices will be just 15 cents.
“They’re always talking about the new normal, and while yeah, we’re going to have a new normal, we need to go back to the old normal,” said Miller. “The old normal is going out to the movies, going to ballgames, going to concerts. Just getting out of the house. I have spent more time in the house than I ever wanted to and getting out to the theater is just one of those things that you do, and we’ve missed doing it. I’ve missed doing it.”
For a list of Tulsa Starworld 20's showtimes, click here.
For more information about Tulsa's AMC, click here.