EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Montecillo is opening on Tuesday after five months.
Ed Dodds, vice president of operations, said they have been excited to welcome El Pasoans back to their theaters.
Like other businesses, Dodds said they implemented new safety protocols to ensure patrons have a pleasant and safe experience. Alamo Drafthouse also integrated iWave bipolar ionization technology into its HVAC systaems.
According to the theater, bipolar ionization technology releases charged atoms that attach to and kill harmful substances such as bacteria, mold, allergens and viruses in the building’s air and on surfaces.
Auditoriums will be thoroughly disinfected between each screening with electrostatic sanitation machines. In addition, Dodds said they put up signs to ensure social distancing, as well as put up multiple hand sanitizing stations around the venue.
All patrons must wear a mask. If they don’t have one, Dodds said the theater will provide one to them.
Alamo brought back their old staff to work and created new safety crew position, which is in charge of making sure all safety protocols are being followed.
He adds that all staff had to undergo a special safety training to be prepared for their new duties.
Dodds believes the changes, such as the sanitization measures and requiring facemasks, will not take away from the movie-going experience.
“Once you’re seated, and the lights go down and the music comes up and the images on the screen, you will be able to get lost in a movie just like you have in the past,” said Dodds. “And to be quite honest with you, people need this more than ever. People need to get lost in a story for a couple of hours considering everything that has been going on.”
He explained they will be at 30 to 40 percent capacity because of the six-foot distance requirement.
Dodds also spoke about the new Eastside location.
“We should be opening early to mid-part of November. It will have 10 screens, luxury recliners,” said Dodds about the new venue. “We have a theater that we call the ‘big show,’ which, instead of a 45-foot screen, it has a 70-foot screen with Dolby Atmos surround sound and laser projections. It’s really exciting; we’re looking forward to it.”
Patrons will be able to watch Unhinged, a new Russell Crowe movie, and some older classic ones like Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.