After being closed since March because of COVID-19, Nashville's Belcourt Theatre is reopening Friday, Nov. 13.
The cinema, which opened in 1925 initially as the Hillsboro Theater, is among thousands of theaters across the country that have taken significant losses due to social-distancing mandates prohibiting large gatherings.
Starting Friday, however, the Belcourt is limiting capacity to a maximum of 56 patrons per screening in both of the downstairs theaters — that’s roughly 17 percent of capacity in the 1925 Hall and 22 percent of the capacity in the 1966 Hall. Programming director Toby Leonard will likely schedule about two showings per hall per day on weekdays, and three per day per hall on weekends.
Both staff and customers will be required to wear masks, though once you’re in your seat you’ll be permitted to remove your face covering to enjoy a drink or a snack. The theater is also instituting some high-tech new procedures, including U.V. air scrubbers in both halls, along with an electrostatic mister that will be used to clean each seat between screenings.
Upstairs, the Belcourt’s smaller Manzler/Webb Screening Room and Jackson Education and Engagement Space will remain closed. But the cinema will continue to open films online via its virtual screening room, and also continue its virtual education programming.
There won’t be any further installments in the Belcourt Drive-In series due to both the changing weather and the fact that one of the theaters’ projectors was being used for the outdoor screenings. You’ll be able to buy tickets for the Belcourt’s indoor films in person, though the arthouse is strongly encouraging folks to buy them online in advance.
To see a listing of movies being shown, visit belcourt.org.