Businesses anxious to safely resume services
Getting organized and finishing up renovations is on Bruce Taylor's checklist before he reopens Marion's Collins Road Theatres next week.
"I was anticipating June until we could reopen again so we got caught with not being quite ready," said Taylor.
Taylor says although they could have opened for movie-goers Friday, he needed more time to prepare.
"In order to reopen outside of the obvious things getting ready with new safety precautions and things like that, we also don't have any movies booked. It takes a while to get movies booked. At the moment, Hollywood is not releasing a significant number of movies,” he added.
So the theater will feature two new movies and a few older ones. Logistically, Taylor says it'll be a quick turnaround to get all fresh products, too.
One of the biggest changes for moviegoers is that late admissions will not be allowed.
"That's so you can find a seat away from other people while the lights are still on," said Taylor.
Other safety precautions include limiting the number of people in theaters.
Ashton Hill Farm, a Cedar Rapids wedding venue, opened for business on Friday, but it won't host its first wedding until July.
“We have moved over 60 weddings just for 2020, which is a lot for this area,” said Owner Megan Knatz.
She expects they will be feeling the impacts of COVID-19 for a while.
"It’s also changed how our calendar for 2021 is looking. It’s so much fuller just because of the movement," said Knatz.
On top of getting its schedule prepared, employees are working to implement additional safety measures.
"Floor plans are changing. There is a lot more space between guests but we have got creative with catering partners so things like meals prepackaged," she said. “We’ve opened up our outdoor space and patio for a secondary dance floor so that's a fun concept."
Whether it's back on to the dance floor, or to the big screen, the small business owners are anxious to get back to some sort of normalcy.
"We know when we have that first wedding it’s going to be a great celebration," said Knatz.
"We feel we owe it to the community. People are tired of staying home all the time. We want to try and give them a safe place to come," said Taylor.
Taylor says all the changes people need to know about the theater as well as a list of movies will be on their website.