SAN ANTONIO — Santikos, San Antonio's biggest local cinema chain, will be one of the few Texas theater companies to jump-start operations – albeit not at all locations – on Saturday, a day after the state says certain industries can reopen its doors to customers while maintaining an occupancy at a fraction of what it was before.
Officials with Santikos confirmed to KENS 5 Wednesday that its Casa Blanca, Palladium and Cibolo theaters – all among the company's biggest locations – will open its box offices and welcome back moviegoers, although what films the cinemas will show remains to be seen as the movie industry has grinded to a halt and virtually all major new spring releases have been delayed.
The company's CEO, Tim Hendren, told KENS 5 the company met with its employers on Wednesday, where they were apparently asked "if they were OK with opening, and most said yes."
The company said it plans to abide by the state's policies for businesses that will be up and running this weekend – which include allowing no more than 25% regular occupancy, monitoring social distancing and regularly cleaning surfaces – while "taking all precautions to serve our customers and staff members."
Later in the day, Santikos laid out details on its website about what it will do to maximize cleanliness at its theaters, including the disinfection of theaters between screenings and temporarily using a limited food menu.
Meanwhile, EVO Entertainment will be reopening locations in Kyle and Schertz on Monday using a similar multi-pronged safety approach that will include – at the onset – reading the temperature of all guests and staff, requiring that patrons wear face coverings and encouraging customers to buy tickets online.
Not all local theaters are taking up the state's offer in reopening on Friday. Alamo Drafthouse tweeted on Monday that the process of welcoming back patrons "is something we cannot and will not do casually or quickly."