BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — This past year was one of the hardest in the 100 year history of the North Park Theatre.
"It's been economically very painful, with the exception of three weens we have been closed since March 16th of 2020," Ray Barker, North Park Program Director, said.
After the hardships with private viewings only, the Western New York staple is finally ready to reopen its doors to public screenings.
"Social distancing will have an impact on capacity restrictions," Barker said, "it will be a max of 50 people."
North Park will reopen on April 22nd, a few weeks after the Aurora Theatre in East Aurora, who had their first showings in months this weekend.
"Because we were opened during the holiday season we had everything in place for social distancing," Lynn Kinsella of the Aurora, said, "we have seating every other row."
The Aurora Theatre will be kept at 48 people per showing by staggering seating and promoting social distancing. It's something they have been preparing months for.
"We kind of just waited for it all to reopen," Kinsella said.
Both the Aurora and North Park saw Godzilla v. King Kong bring in more than $60 million at the box office the last two weekends, the best for a film during the pandemic. It showed them how much potential their reopening could bring.
"What we're seeing with good box office numbers from last weekend with Godzilla v. Kong is that people are ready to get out of their house, get out of their apartment and start enjoying the culture we have here in Western New York," Barker said.