An employee for one locally-owned movie theater in Scottsboro says if customers don't come back, the theater will have to close its doors for good.
"Having the doors closed that long, we began to wonder if we were ever going to open again," said Amanda Heard, Hollywood 10 Cinemas' general manager.
Heard says it was mid-March when she got the call that Hollywood 10 Cinemas in Scottsboro had to shut its doors.
"The employees here, myself included, we’re like a family and so we thought, it will be OK. We’ll go back to work in a couple of weeks, no big deal. Well, then March rolled into April, April rolled into May, May into June and so on and so forth and we couldn’t come back," said Heard.
Heard and her employees waited six months before they could return to work. As the lights are turned back on, Heard said attendance is off.
"Our busiest day was Saturday, but even then, we didn’t see but maybe 100 people all day and that’s quite a change when you’re used to seeing at least 100 people through the night on the weeknights," said Heard.
Even at 50% capacity, seats are still empty at Hollywood 10 and Heard believes that if something doesn't change soon, movies in Scottsboro could be gone forever.
"I get it, you know, people may still not feel safe coming back and it’s heartbreaking because I know that if they don’t come back, we don’t get to stay open," said Heard.
Heard says the employees at the theater are doing everything they can to keep customers safe, including temperature checks for employees and extra sanitizing. She says you can get food at the concession stand but no refills. She also said bathrooms are being cleaned every hour and the water fountains are covered.
"We require employees to wear masks and gloves when they are behind the registers and they are dealing with customers. Our door people wear masks and gloves," said Heard.
Heard is taking a glass-half-full approach and hopes people will come back to enjoy the escape from reality.
"Once the good movies start coming out and not going to streaming services, people will come back, but if they don’t, that’s going to be the end of the Hollywood 10," said Heard.
The theater reopened Aug. 28. For information on hours and movies playing, click here.