Tippecanoe County movie theaters making adjustments to survive Covid-19 pandemic
Been able to make covid-19 safety adjustments -- they're still having trouble seeing customers.
News 18's micah upshaw met with wabash landing nine management to learn more.
She joins us now in the studio, hey micah.
The christmas holiday typically brings several sold out theaters to wabash landing nine.
This year, management tells me they barely saw enough people to fill one theater.
They're hoping business picks up as theaters nationwide are being forced to close.
A: we definitely need customers.
I mean, customers is how we survive and coming in, and buying the tickets, buying the popcorn and the candy and you know, that's something that we definitely need.
M: and it's definitely something they're going to need soon.
Wabash landing nine's general manager anthony wilks says they're surviving but times have been tough.
A: prior to us closing down, there would be days where in the mornings, we would have anywhere from 50 to 75 people now there are days where we're lucky if that's what we have the entire day.
M: wabash landing nine, eastside ten and lafayette seven are the only movie theaters in tippecanoe county.
All of them were forced to close earlier on in the pandemic under the states covid-safety restrictions.
But as other theaters began re-opening with new safety measures -- these theaters stayed closed until august when new management took over -- leaving them going several months without business.
A: vip cinema's came through.
They bought us and they got us opened back up with a pretty strong plan of how we need to operate to have a successful future.
M: right now the theater has dropped it's adult ticket prices a dollar-50.
They've also dropped concession prices 15 to 25 percent.
And they're allowing friends and family to rent out entire theaters for a base price.
A: it would be a real shame if, you know, the theaters kind of went away.
M: wilks says hollywood is expected to release movies that didn't make the big screen last year.
He's hopeful that'll attract movie-goers.
A: it looks like kind of mid-march, april we're really going to start picking up in movies and we've got some good ones coming out.
According to wilks, 2020's box office was about 9-billion dollars less than the prior year.
He says 60-percent of the theaters have closed nationwide.
Overall, local theaters are surviving but they are encouraging more people to come out.
I am reporting in studio, micah upshaw, news 18.
Today partly sunny,