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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The movie theater industry is one of many in Maine left at a complete standstill because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But even with no way to show movies, one theater in Presque Isle has found a way to continue operations.
Beginning on Friday, Presque Isle’s Braden Theater on Main Street will sell popcorn, candy and other concessions from 5 to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Popcorn buckets will be on sale for $5.
The idea came about after several residents told management they had missed the theater’s popcorn since the business closed on March 16, Braden manager Marlene McEachern said.
Customers can either walk in to get their food or get it via curbside pick-up. In line with COVID-19 prevention measures, McEachern said theater staff would ensure that customers remain six feet apart at all times and that the building is disinfected constantly.
While Gov. Janet Mills allowed drive-in movie theaters to reopen on May 1, the path to reopening for conventional movie theaters is unclear.
McEachern said Braden Theater management was considering how they could reopen with restrictions, including by requiring patrons to sit several seats apart.
In what is another hurdle for theaters like Braden that are thinking of reopening, movie studios have delayed numerous releases because of the virus.
As the theater looks to open its doors under unique circumstances, management is looking forward to getting people back to the silver screen as soon as possible.
“We’re going to wait it out and do what we can to make people happy — to show them our appreciation for them for when we do open,” McEachern said.
Watch: Janet Mills outlines her plan to reopen