News

State Theatre to reopen to public Friday, May 29

The world's oldest continually operating cinema theatre returns this weekend.

The State Theatre in Washington will once again open to the public on Friday, May 29. The curbside popcorn to-go program will continue but will be scheduled around show times. (Gretchen Teske, The Union)
The State Theatre in Washington will once again open to the public on Friday, May 29. The curbside popcorn to-go program will continue but will be scheduled around show times. (Gretchen Teske, The Union)

WASHINGTON — The nation’s oldest continuously running movie theatre, The State Theatre, will be open to the public this weekend following a proclamation from the governor and parent company Fridley Theatres.

According to a news release from the company, 17 of the 19 locations will reopen Friday, May 29. Gov. Reynolds announced Wednesday, May 20 that theatres would be allowed to open.

However, due to the short timetable, only two of Fridley’s locations, Carrol 5 Theatre in Carrol and the American 3 Theatre in Cherokee, were able to open, according to the release.

“The company has taken every possible precaution to combat the spread of COVID-19 in its theatres. In conjunction with various government organizations, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), and other exhibitor partners, it developed a comprehensive list of policies for its management teams and employees. Additionally, it created a pledge for its staff and guests, which it calls its ‘Commitment to our Communities.’ This document emphasizes Fridley’s dedication to cleanliness and sanitation, and it promises to protect the health and safety of the communities in which it operates,” the release states.

For those looking to attend a movie in the future, the company has set out the following guidelines in its release:

• Group sizes should be limited to a maximum of six

• Verbal health screenings will be taken at the theatre entrance

• Credit card payment is preferred

• Children under the age of 13 must be with an adult

• Children under age nine should be supervised while in the building

In addition, the company has stated it will:

• Require employees to stay home if they are sick, consent to a daily health and temperature screening and wear masks at all times

• Frequently wipe down and disinfect all high-contact surfaces

• Allow for extra cleaning time between shows

• Provide hand sanitizer to all guests

• Use sneeze guards at select terminals

• Implement various social distancing measures

• Reduce auditorium capacity to 50% or less

• use ushers to ensure proper distancing between parties in each auditorium

• Implement Bargain Day pricing for older movies

Additional information and show times can be found online at: www.fridleytheatres.com.