Moab moviegoers can now head to the theater again, after public health restrictions were lifted on entertainment venues, but they’ll be seeing something a little different up on the screen.
Slickrock Cinemas 3, Moab’s three-screen movie theater, is playing classic films like Back to the Future, Jaws and the Lord of the Rings trilogy through July. Until the middle of July, tickets are just $2.
“Well, we reopened but there are no movies being released right now!” said the Slickrock’s Reggie Blatter. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, most major movie studios have canceled film releases and rescheduled movies for the fall.
Blatter said that many movie theaters have stayed closed because of the lack of new movies.
“Other theaters are playing more recent movies, but we decided to focus on some classics instead, especially some popular picks and films that appeal to people in Moab,” he said.
Blatter says that the theater has created a plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including keeping distance between guests and only having one showing and allowing time to properly clean the screening room.
The first new release scheduled is “Tenet,” a new spy thriller by Christopher Nolan starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson and Kenneth Branagh. The film has not rescheduled its July 17 release date, leading industry observers like IndieWire’s Anne Thompson to comment that no film’s release date “has ever seen the attention, or pressure, currently placed on Christopher Nolan's Tenet."
“We’re going to run a bunch of Christopher Nolan movies running up to that new release,” said Blatter, “including Inception and the Dark Knight movies.”
Still, Blatter says that even when new films start being released it looks unlikely that things will go back to normal for the entertainment industry.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen with new releases. They’re moving really slow,” said Blatter, “and when they start coming out we’re probably going to have to run them for a couple of weeks,” instead of introducing a new film each weekend.
“We’ll have to see how things change during the summer,” said Blatter, “and look forward to a lot of the big releases that have been rescheduled for the fall.” Some of those postponed releases include the new James Bond film, a live-action version of Mulan and other anticipated films.
Slickrock Cinema, like many businesses, has suffered from lost revenue from the lengthy public health shutdowns. With the schedule of new film releases uncertain, Blatter is hopeful that Moab residents will enjoy watching some of their favorite movies and support a local business.
“Sure, we had to shut down for a while. But now we’re excited to get back open and help out,” said Blatter, even if that’s just providing the community with some entertainment in a cool, air-conditioned room.