Movie Theaters, Bowling Alleys Reopening Across Broward County

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After being closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, certain indoor movie theaters, bowling alleys, arcades and concert houses were allowed to reopen in Broward County Monday.

Flippers Cinema, Arcade and Game Center in Hollywood has re-opened their arcade, but owner Jeff Condon says his bottom line was affected after he was forced to close for 90 days.

"Summer is the biggest season for the movie theater industry, and in our 90 days I’m just under a million dollars in gross revenue lost," said Jeff Condon, owner of Flippers Cinema.

Condon says he plans on opening the movie theater around July 10th as films start to come out again.

He says he is following CDC guidelines, disinfecting seats after each showing, incorporating social distancing with spacing and custom panels between each seat. Staff are required to wear masks, and hand sanitizer stations and plexiglass set up at concession areas.

"We took out games. We’ve increased aisle size. We reduced seating capacity and cleaned everything,"said Condon. “They do suggest that we have social distancing in the theaters, so that will leave a lot of empty seats. What we’re doing in our theater is we’ve created a physical barrier between you and the next group.”

Other businesses like Manor Lanes Bowling and Sports Den Pub in Wilton Manors have also re-opened.

“We’re really glad to be open. We were closed for 90 days exactly,” said Dwight Matlack, owner of Manor Lanes.

Due to closures from COVID-19, their revenue was in the gutter, but they kept their employees on staff and used the time to make renovations to the bowling alley, bar and restaurant. They’re now hoping to bounce back and are eager to safely welcome back customers.

Matlack says they set up social distancing decals on the floor, allowing groups between every other lane and are disinfecting lanes and bowling balls after every use.

“Public health is what is most important, and we all know that, but I think if we can exercise with precautions than we’ll all benefit in the long run,” said Matlack.

The businesses are allowed to reopen at 50% capacity, but only if they've submitted an approved reopening plan to county administrator Bertha Henry.

The plans must outline the rigorous safety and sanitation guidelines the businesses will be following.

Businesses with approved reopening plans are receiving a certificate to display for customers showing it has been reviewed and approved by Broward County.

The county is also posting a searchable database of businesses with county-approved reopening plans.

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