Movie theater sees more moviegoers leading into summer

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — As summer approaches, one movie theater said they have seen more moviegoers out to watch movies.

“Oh, it was terrible. I went through popcorn withdrawal,” said Rodriguez.

Maria Rodriguez, an avid moviegoer, joked about not being able to eat movie theater popcorn amid the pandemic. Rodriguez said this past pandemic year. She watched more of her at-home-collection.

“Movies are my lifeline. I’ll watch anything and everything,” said Rodriguez. “I want to see every movie on the big screen at least once because you get a lot more detail.”

Barbara Hefner said the pandemic secluded everyone, and she was glad that she was finally able to watch movies in person.

“We just like to get out. We haven’t been able to get out for so long,” said Hefner. “I had COVID back in October, so it’s even better to be able to get out.”

Rudy Leal, director at Lubbock Premiere Cinemas, said the pandemic created an opportunity for less well-known films to be seen on the big screen.

“A lot of independents had a chance to show their products here,” said Leal. “We played [Army of the Dead] a week before it went out on Netflix.

Leal said with more movies being released by Hollywood more people are heading to theaters.

“There’s an enthusiasm with all the summer blockbusters that just kicked off,” said Leal. “We are excited about our lineup this month, and we’re excited that people are excited to be back.”

Leal said his team is continuing to follow COVID safety protocols to keep guests safe.
“We do take [our employees’] temperatures every day and require that they do wear masks,” said Leal.

Leal also said mask wear is optional for guests.

Joe Dennett, associate director at Lubbock Premiere Cinema, said people missed the movie experience so much that they sometimes went to the theater to purchase food and go home. Dennett said not only did guests miss the moviegoing experience, but employees also missed the movie scene.

“We used to have a bunch of regulars that come in, and seeing them is just like seeing family members for the first time in a while,” said Dennett.

“We actually have people who come in just to get concession food, and then they go home,” said Dennett.

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