Local theaters hope summer movies bring audiences back

Movie theaters everywhere took a major hit during the pandemic, but local cinemas expect popular summer movies to bring audiences back to their seats.

Celebrity Theatres closed for 13 months, from March 2020 to April 2021, says general manager Carl Carpenter. Now, the theater is taking it slow, staying open for limited hours and monitoring the amount of concession items it keeps on hand.

Baton Rouge’s AMC Theatres 15 and 16 are open but only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. AMC Entertainment was able to escape bankruptcy in January, thanks to investors.

Celebrity Theatres, like many other live entertainment venues across the country, applied for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, a program offered by the Small Business Administration to venues who had to close during the pandemic, but has yet to hear back, Carpenter says.

The theater has seen more customers come in over the last two weeks, Carpenter says, but there’s still not many movies to be shown. The theater hopes to see a higher volume of patrons when the summer film season kicks off this weekend with A Quiet Place: Part II and Cruella

“Starting with those two films, we should start seeing a lot more popular movies come out,” Carpenter says. “That should get more people back in here.”