You Too Can Rent a Theater 

Caucasian woman watching move in empty theater

Before the pandemic, were you in the habit of going to the movies every week or so, or every month or so, to watch the latest film on the big screen, in the company of a friend or two, with maybe some popcorn or a soda? Is a DVD at home on your television not cutting it as a replacement?  

There is a way, even in the middle of a pandemic, to go to the theater with some friends, see the big screen, hear the big sound, and have some concession snacks, without taking crazy risks. You simply need to rent the theater.  

In Oregon, indoor theaters have been permitted to reopen to as much as 50% capacity. The twelve-screen AMC multiplex on Circle Blvd and the locally-owned three-screen Darkside Theater at 4th and Madison are both offering theater rentals to groups of as many as 20 people. Each theater space is carefully cleaned before a group enters, air is filtered with an HVAC unit, only members of the same household will be allowed to sit together, with the usual social distance maintained from others, and of course, plenty of hand sanitizer.  

No-one in the U.S. has ever been infected with the novel coronavirus in a theater, and owners don’t want Corvallis to be the first place it happens.  

Anyone interested in renting a theater for a party or just a hang-out should visit the web sites of the AMC or the Darkside. Rentals begin at $99 for AMC, $250 for the Darkside. Individual bags of popcorn and soft drinks, all dispensed with no human contact, are extra, as are many other options available at one theater or the other, including a marquee welcoming your group and decorations inside the theater space.  

Masks are, of course, required for all staff and all guests, with no exceptions.  

John M. Burt