North Riverside Mall Movie Theater Aims To Reopen June 26

Thursday, June 18, 2020 || By Stacey Sheridan/Riverside-Brookfield Landmark || @maywoodnews 

Classic Cinemas will reopen its movie theaters, including the North Riverside Luxury 6 at the North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, on June 26, when the governor is expected to move state to the next phase of his Restore Illinois plan.

Phase 4 allows gatherings of 50 people or fewer, and restaurants can open with limited capacity by employing strict public health procedures for their operation. Other details, all aimed at preventing a resurgence of COVID-19, are still being worked out.

“We’re waiting for the final protocols from the state for Phase 4,” said Classic Cinemas CEO Chris Johnson. “We’ll follow those, but we’re 99 percent sure that it will require guests to wear masks throughout the common areas. When they’re sitting in their seat and properly social distanced, they can take their masks off.”

Classic Cinemas will require socially distanced seating in its theaters. To maintain adequate social distancing, Classic Cinemas will keep the number of people allowed inside each theater at no more than 50 percent of full capacity.

Classic Cinemas CEO Chris Johnson (above) has been waiting has been waiting three months to have paying customers back in the recliners at Classic Cinemas in North Riverside Park Mall. | File 

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“Once you’re in the auditorium, it should feel just like going to the movies was four months ago,” he said.

The movies on tap for screening in the soon-to-open theaters has yet to be decided.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to open, absolutely,” said Johnson. “It’s not ideal circumstances but hopefully we can earn the trust of our guests and when new movies come, it’ll build and go from there. Hopefully we’ll get a vaccine sooner than later and everybody will be happy.”

All Classic Cinemas movie theaters in the state of Illinois will reopen June 26 except one, located in Kankakee. The movie group has one movie theater in Wisconsin that has already reopened.

“We’re doing the best we can and we’re certainly going to adhere to all the guidelines,” said Johnson. “At the end of the day, our focus is going to be on telling the guests to come out, enjoy themselves, leave it up to us, and just wear your masks in the lobby.”

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