Going to the movie theater is a long-standing tradition enjoyed by many. However, all over New York movie theaters are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Theaters like The Strand, in the village of Brockport has been closed since March.
According to the General Manager of The Strand, Jason Yantz. The Strand is hangin on by a thread.
“ Over the past six months, we have been forced to wait for a reopening date and take out financial loans in order for us to survive,” says Yantz.
Yantz and the people of the National Association of Theater Owners have lobbied very aggressively to not only reopen theaters across the country but in The Strands case preserve it’s history in Brockport.
Opening in 1916, The Strand is the second oldest still operating first-run movie theater in the United States. The Strand provided all kinds of entertainment to the village. It was the place for dances, fashion shows, magic shows and so much more. Providing 100 Years of entertainment The Strand means so much to so many people. SUNY Brockport Alumna, Sonia Mellado says,
“What made the Strand special was that it was a welcoming place for my friends and I to spend time together. we watched movies but also we got to escape from our crazy lives for a bit.”
The Strand is ready to open and welcome back customers as soon as the government announces it is safe to open again. Yantz says,
“We are ready to open with safety protocols in place.”
Due to COVID-19, theaters everywhere have had to enforce specific protocols that allow customers enjoy the theater in a way that is safe for them. Protocols that include wearing masks during screenings, staying socially distant and paperless tickets.
This is just one part of what seems to be a very long fight. Once The Strand reopens Yantz says that he will need to help of the community to stay open.
“Once we reopen we will desperately need the community’s support to come and patronize the Strand. We plan on starting a GoFundMe page that could help us whether this financial setback,” Yantz says.
The act of going to the movie theaters will no longer be the same due to COVID-19. People have had to adjust to the new normal but Yantz is fighting to keep traditions alive during these tough times. Slowly but surely with the help of the community Yantz is sewing back the pieces to reopen the Strand, the life blood of the Brockport community.