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Eastdale Mall Cinemas set to reopen one week from Friday

Published: May. 14, 2021 at 7:02 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - It’s almost showtime at Eastdale Mall Cinemas. The curtains rise one week from Friday for the ‘soft’ opening.

Closed for eight years, Gray Turley and Heath Thomas have breathed new life into the mall’s theatres. They’re cleaner, there are new projectors, and there are about 1,800 fewer seats.

“Primarily because of COVID?”

“That, and as well as in other theatres, you had issues with people putting their feet on the back and things like that,” said Turley, who is general manager.

The re-opening of the movie houses is an overall attempt to bring back the mall itself. They’ve hired 10 people and there’s room for five more.

“Whenever we came in, there was a lot of cleaning we had to do. A lot of painting, just reviving the location,” said Thomas, vice president of facilities at GQT Movies.

The grand re-opening comes at a different time. One can easily watch movies on their phones; a fact not lost on Turley. However, he feels this bit of Americana is still relevant.

“”A perfect place for people to escape reality. You know at home, you still got everything going on around you. When you come to the theatre, it’s on the big screen,” said Turley.

With last minute inspections getting checked off, there’s only left thing left to take care of; fire up the popper.

Turley and Thomas say their employees will be required to wear masks, but will movie-goers will have the option of wearing them or not.

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