Local movie theater owner explains decision to not yet reopen

ATLANTA — Movie theaters across the state of Georgia were allowed to reopen Monday, but some theater owners chose to keep their doors shut.

“It will be a struggle for a while as we embrace this new normal,” said Springs Cinema and Tap House owner, Brandt Gully.

Like most movie theater owners, Gully was forced to shut down his Sandy Springs business because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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He told Channel 2’s Audrey Washington it wasn’t easy to stay closed.

“We have chosen not to open today or this week,” Gully said.

“The community, my customers, my family and what’s in the best interests of all those folks,” Gully said.

Last week Gov. Brian Kemp announced the partial reopening of the state, beginning with beauty and nail salons, barber shops, gyms and bowling alleys.

Kemp released an executive order last week, outlining the safety requirements for restaurants to reopen. You can read the full text of the order HERE.

Monday, restaurants and movie theaters, got the green light.

Gully said it was a tough decision.

“It’s painful and it will be for some time.”

National chains remain closed as well. In a statement Regal Theaters said, in part:

“At this time, we have not made a decision when to reopen Regal Theaters.

We are constantly following the information provided by authorities. In order to open our theaters, at first we will need to ensure the safety of our guests and employees.”

As for Gully, his theater will only host small, private parties at the theater. People in those parties are required to keep a safe distance.

“It is the socially-responsible thing to do and that’s a personal decision,” Gully said.