EVO Entertainment becomes one of the first local movie theaters to reopen, with some changes

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KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — After about a month and a half, movie-goers can finally catch a flick at some EVO Entertainment locations.

Two theaters reopened Monday for the first time since the pandemic — Kyle and Schertz, just outside San Antonio.

Before you even settle into your seat, you’ll notice a few differences in your movie-going experience: Everyone is required to wear a mask and get a temperature check, the box office is self-serve ticketing and all employees must wear gloves — which they are instructed to change out every 30 minutes.

Social distancing inside each theater also ranges from seven to nine feet.

The company says customers who don’t have a mask when entering EVO’s building will be provided one. (KXAN/Tahera Rahman)

“I think we’ve been anticipating that at some point, we would reopen and that this virus isn’t just going to go away. So at anytime that we do reopen, it’s going to look very different,” says Mitch Roberts, Evo Entertainment Group Co-founder & CEO.

But not all movie theaters are ready to reopen.

AMC and Regal theaters remain closed.

Alamo Drafthouse says they’re still working on precautionary measures, saying in a statement that “Opening safely … Involves countless new procedures and equipment, all of which require extensive training.”

That’s why Roberts says EVO is only opening two locations, with theaters in San Marcos, New Braunfels and Fredericksburg remaining closed.

“It’s a crawl before we walk exercise. We want to know that we can execute well on all fronts of that plan before we roll it out to anywhere else,” Roberts says.

Like the state, the company is reopening in phases.

Phase two gets rid of temperature checks and face masks for customers.

There’s no timeline for that, but Roberts says it will coincide with the governor’s phase two orders.

“We don’t want any sense of allowing for this to spread within our venues. We want to go very, very, very strict and very careful when we do things,” he says.

Their other services, like virtual reality rooms and bowling, remain closed as per the governor’s orders.

During phase one and two, Roberts says online ticketing fees will be waived to reduce face-to-face interaction and touch points inside buildings. (KXAN/Tahera Rahman)

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