Photo by author. Ross Lake in Beaverton, Michigan
When the lights of the Gem Theatre lit up last week, Beaverton residents felt excitement. There was a sure sign the pandemic is fading, and life is starting to see some normalcy. The town movie theatre is showing movies once again. A big smile went across my partner's face when he saw the lights. And he declared Friday night to be movie night. He didn't care what the movie played. He and the kids were seeing a movie.
The last time we saw a film, it was Halloween
Last fall was the first time any of us went to a movie since the pandemic began. We'd planned on seeing a movie that spring, but the doors closed until Halloween week. My partner and I wanted to see a film again more than anything else.
Halloween week came, and The Gem showed a Millennial classic: Hocus Pocus. It's one of those movies where if someone tells me they don't like it, my first thought is that it's a generational gap. I noticed the younger generations aren't as thrilled about that movie as my generation and older.
I never got to see Hocus Pocus in the theatres when I was a kid. I didn't see it until much later, when it came out on VHS. I loved it on VHS. Seeing it in the theatres made me feel like a five-year-old kid again. One that's more than aware of some of the adult humor in the movie. My partner liked it, and so did the kids. It was a great family night.
Six months later, The Gem is playing The Croods 2
Like last time, my partner rounded up the kids, and they walked together to the movie. We live close enough that we can walk anywhere in town we want. They all left together. And when they came back an hour and a half later, my partner had the biggest smile on his face.
The movie theatre opening up is a sign of life returning to normal soon. Going out to eat wasn't the thing we missed the most; it was going out to see a movie. Being able to get tickets, buy popcorn, and watch the newest films on a giant screen. You don't realize how much you miss it until you can't do it for a while. It's crazy the things you take for granted until you can't do them anymore.
The theatre was open, but there had to be some restrictions
As of now, all movie theatres have to have at least 50% capacity. You can still get popcorn and drinks, and you don't have to have a mask on while you enjoy your snacks. The only time the movie theatres require you to wear a mask is when you're walking around in the lobby.
If you want to have an ordinary evening this week, check out The Croods 2 at the Gem Theatre
On the Beaverton Happenings Facebook page, The Gem is closed on Monday and Tuesday, but the movie will be there until April 1st. The film plays at 7:00 on Wednesday and Thursday.
It's not clear if The Gem will stay open during Easter weekend, but on regular weekends while it slowly goes back to normal, it will start playing movies at 3:00 on Saturdays and Sundays. Saturday will have two showings of a film: the first show will be at 3, and the second show will be at 7.
Remember, there is a 50% capacity in the movie theatre, and you need to bring your mask when you walk into the lobby. But when you have your snacks, you can take off your mask and enjoy!
It's exciting to see the movies come back to Beaverton. It's another blip of hope that life is startig to return to normal. I can't wait until the day we can go back to full capacity and not have to worry about wearing a mask when we go anywhere. But we need a little more time before we get there yet. For now, I'll enjoy my movies even at 50% capacity.