Yelm Cinemas becomes first theater in the area to reopen

YELM, Wash. — Grab your popcorn, dim the lights and get ready to watch the show.

“This little miss here absolutely loves anything Star Wars,” said Robert Wampler.

Which is perfect, because that's exactly what they're showing this weekend at Yelm Cinemas.

The Thurston County theater is one of the first to re-open. Families who stopped by for matinee shows Friday were thrilled.

“We bought tickets as soon as I saw the announcement on Facebook to get out of the house and watch a movie,” said Robert.

“Movies are a big part of my life. I’ve been watching movies since I was 5,” said Kaydince Wampler.

The privately-owned theater reopened July 3, a little more than a week after the county entered Phase 3 of the state's Safe Start Plan.

“Definitely missed having the community coming in and watching movies, so definitely happy to have them back,” said Noah Aden, General Manager of Yelm Cinemas.

Aden said business has been slow, but they expect it to pick up.

Movie-goers will notice things are a bit different: masks are required, popcorn and drinks are no longer self-serve, staff members are cleaning around the clock, and, inside each theater, seating is spaced out.

“It’s mostly half or just half seating and then it’s six feet between each family or party that comes in,” said Aden.

Currently Hollywood isn't producing new movies, so Yelm Cinemas is playing classics and fan favorites, like Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Black Panther and Inside Out.

“It’s super fun. I can’t wait for this whole thing to be over so they can start releasing some of the movies that I really want to see, like the new Wonder Woman and Black Widow,” said Kaydince.

No matter what's on the big screen, families said they're just happy to watch a movie outside of their house.

“We’re kind of a big movie family,” said Robert.

Yelm Cinemas will be closed Mondays and Tuesdays until business picks up.

They expect new movies to hit the big screen in mid-August.

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