Alachua County may require local cinemas to submit re-opening plans

Yes, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the green light for movie theaters to reopen in Florida starting on June 5th, but don’t head over to your local Regal Cinema locations in Gainesville just yet.

 According to Alachua County Communications Director Mark Sexton, “All businesses opened in the Governor’s order may open in Alachua County at 50% occupancy and are subject to OHSA and CDC guidelines.

“The County still requires retail, grocery stores, and gyms to remain at a maximum of 50% occupancy, groups in public to be 10 or less, and facial coverings in businesses and outside where social distancing is not possible.

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According to BOCC Chair Robert Hutchinson, the County will be meeting on Tuesday June 9th to “sort out a long list of items that need to be interpreted from the Phase 2 order.”
One local Regal Cinema employee in Gainesville is telling curious guests that it will take a few weeks to get the theaters ready for business. They have to order movies, bring the staff back, train everyone on OSHA and the latest CDC guidelines and do a deep cleaning before they can open, he said.

 BOCC Chair Hutchinson said businesses may be required to “submit a plan of how they will operate during the pandemic in a manner that keeps customers and employees safe, and at a minimum, will address social distancing, occupancy, scheduling, personal protective gear, sanitation and employee expectations. 

“Such plans, once approved by the County (or City), shall be the basis for enforcement when complaints are received of alleging unsafe conditions.”

In the meantime, the Regal Cinema is providing a film “Toy Story 4” to view on June 5th (weather pending) on the back parking lot at Celebration Pointe.

Families can enjoy a socially safe drive-in movie to kickoff the summer at the event sponsored by Gift Certificates and More and Regal Celebration Pointe. 

 Tickets are available for purchase by clicking the link below

 Tickets are $24 (plus tax and fees) per vehicle and IF AVAILABLE, at the gate. One ticket per vehicle. Coupes, sedans, SUVs and minivans are acceptable. No buses or transport vans/passenger vans are allowed. One person per seat belt.

 Parking will start at 7 p.m. and the movie will begin at 8:30 p.m. 

Food can be purchased from The Texas Roadhouse and MidiCi which will offer a limited menu that moviegoers can order (credit card only NO CASH) by calling once they park. The food will be delivered to a pop up tent where customers can safely pick up your order. 

Drinks, candy and popcorn will also be sold (credit cards only NO CASH) at a kiosk and patrons are asked to practice social distancing guidelines while purchasing them. The prices are drinks $3, candy $3 and popcorn $2 (Proceeds from Candy and Popcorn go to charity).

Portions of the proceeds will go to benefit the American Cancer Society and GCM Cares and the event will operate under a “NO REFUNDS” policy “Rain or Shine.”

A second showing is scheduled for June 12th in case of rain or for another viewing of a movie to be announced.

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