It's been an eerie visual, these last few months, seeing Malco Cinema 16's empty parking lot on what would normally be very busy days.

I have always loved the movie-going experience but have wondered how theaters would reopen in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing.

Let's begin with the first round of Malco-operated theaters that will reopen Monday, June 15th. They include the Owensboro Cinema Grill, according to a company press release.

The next question might be, "What will they show since so many wide releases that weren't pushed back into 2021 were made available through streaming platforms?"

Right now, the plan is to offer films that were released immediately pre-COVID, a selection of independent films, and classics like Jaws and Ferris Bueller's Day Off. (I wouldn't mind seeing either one on the big screen again.)

As for safety protocols--the full list of which can be found on Malco's website--social distancing of six feet will be maintained in the lobby, at the concession stand, and inside each theater where attendees who did not arrive together will be seated six feet apart and every other row will be empty.

Frequent cleaning of high-contact surfaces and restrooms will be part of the new safety standards. And all employees will be wearing masks.

Additionally, you'll notice more time between screenings to allow team members to effectively clean each theater.

This is great news for movie fans who flock to theaters during the summertime more than any other time of the year.

Enjoy your summer and stay safe.

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