The Orpheum Theatre has been able to have more people in its two theatres, starting on June 20.
They are now able to hold approximately 110 people in Cinema 1 and 50 people in Cinema 2. Starting June 25, they have been open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays. They are excited and eager to reopen, along with the rest of the city as vaccinations increase.
“We’ve just added another date to being open, which is Mondays,” said Jocelyn Dougherty, co-owner of the Orpheum Theatre alongside her husband Alan.
Monday nights are now open for adults only over the age of 19. The Orpheum Theatre will be offering alcoholic beverages for adult customers with the blockbuster showing on screen. They will, however, be closed Wednesdays and Thursdays now.
“We’re just hopeful to get bums in the seats again,” Dougherty continues, laughing. “We want people to feel safe and comfortable in the theatre again...we want to diversify and get more people out.”
They must still keep up with a few safety protocols, however.
“Everyone still has to wear a face mask and we still have to do social distancing … You don’t have to be vaccinated,” said Dougherty. “We have always had pride in how we clean and disinfect the theatre, and it is cleaned and disinfected between each movie.”
Speaking of movies, Dougherty is eager to talk about the showings.
“Fast and furious 9 is the big one now,” she recalls. “And we’re looking forward to next Friday, which is Peter Rabbit 2; The Runaway. August is Suicide Squad,” she said.
“There’s something for everybody to come out and support us.”
Dougherty also hopes to host more events as the restrictions begin to lighten and lift throughout the province.
“Thursday nights, maybe once a month, having comedians come in,” she said. “And eventually, we want to have some gaming leagues on the big screen. New ideas for people to get involved in.”
The Orpheum Theatre has been falling on difficult times over the pandemic, as less and less people come to see their shows, and as pandemic restrictions forced them to shut down. Even with less restrictions over the winter, fewer people came in to watch movies.
Dougherty is looking forward to fully re-opening, but she is also nervous about the possible lack of customers, especially over the summer.
“We’re sure hoping for support over the summer. We do have support from an area around Estevan, it’s not just Estevan, and we hope it continually improves as restrictions are lifted and people are vaccinated,” she said. “The sad part is that Weyburn lost their theatre before the pandemic and Yorkton is shutting down, so we hope we’re not next.”
Dougherty hopes for more customers as the summer goes on, and knows that the Orpheum Theatre is threatened by the pandemic.
“(The Orpheum Theatre is for) all ages, absolutely. There’s going to be movies for all ages...to entice people to come back,” she said. The Orpheum Theatre’s Facebook page has information on their show times and their new Monday night shows.