What’s Possible for Entertainment Now?

With some businesses fully open, some open with caveats and some remaining fully closed or distanced as a response to COVID-19, it can be hard to know what you can do and where. So here is a list of entertainment options and how you can take advantage of them. 

Benton County Museums: Philomath and Corvallis 

The Benton County Historical Society operates two museums: one in Philomath which is open from 10am to 4:30pm Wednesday through Saturday, and one in Corvallis which is open by appointment. These cultural institutions aim to provide a dynamic visitor experience with their artifacts, such as photographs, artwork, historic tools and other educational displays. The Philomath location is also on a historic site, as the museum used to be an 1867 Philomath College building. The Philomath Museum has capped its capacity to six visitors at a time, but the number may change, so checking the website is worthwhile. 

AMC Theaters 

AMC Theaters on Circle Blvd. is currently playing movies in-theater for general admission, every Friday Saturday and Sunday. The theater requires that there is at least one seat between one group and the next, but preferably that moviegoers keep as much distance as possible. Masks are required at all times in the lobby and the theater, except while actively eating or drinking in the theater seats. For the more cautious or larger groups, AMC is also offering whole-theater rentals for up to 20 moviegoers. The cost of renting a whole theater is $99-$249, depending on the film. 

Darkside Cinema 

On the topic of movie theaters, Corvallis’ own local indie theater is also open for in-person moviegoing, although to a different capacity. The Darkside Cinema is booking private screenings for groups of up to 13 people per auditorium, seven days a week. They are taking precautions such as taking temperatures at the door, recording contact tracing information, and cleaning theaters between each screening. Darkside is employing the same snack policy as AMC: you must wear masks at all times except while in the theater, at which point you may eat and drink. The rate for in-person theater rentals is $200-$250, depending on the day. 

The Arts Center 

Corvallis’ very own Arts Center is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon until 5pm, with a requirement similar to the Darkside Cinema. They ask that all visitors fill out a COVID-19 symptoms questionnaire, and collect demographic information for contact tracing. The art gallery lists current art exhibits on their website, and fosters an appreciation and lifelong love for art in our community. 

Albany Carousel 

The Albany Historic Carousel and Museum is a classic of the area, and a must-see. Currently, the carousel is open Thursday through Sunday from 11am to 4pm, with face coverings required and the number of occupants in the building limited to 40 people. Social distancing is to be practiced on the carousel and in the museum as much as possible, and tours have been altered to meet those expectations as well. This whimsical and classic carousel and museum are sure to be a treat for a family day away. 

Restaurants! 

Finally, many restaurants and bars are opening up for indoor or outdoor seating. While some have been open for a while, other openings are very new. A word to the wise though: when going out to eat, be sure that the restaurant is able to socially distance, wear your mask while not eating, and be kind to the wait staff. They have been through so much already this past year, the least we can do is politely appreciate their service and make their jobs just a bit less stressful. 

Wherever you decide to go now that vaccines are becoming more available, or whether you decide to go anywhere at all, stay safe, be kind, and have fun.  

By Ardea C. Eichner