Garden Cinemas in Greenfield to reopen March 26

  • The Garden Cinemas on Main Street in Greenfield plans to reopen on March 26. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

  • Owner Isaac Mass stands behind the ticket counter at Greenfield’s Garden Cinemas in November 2019. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • After reopening, Greenfield’s Garden Cinemas intends to screen “First Signal,” which was partially filmed at the Orange Municipal Airport in 2019. Contributed image

Staff Report
Published: 3/4/2021 2:41:47 PM

GREENFIELD — The COVID-19 pandemic has presented movie theaters and other entertainment venues with challenges that, in some cases, have proved insurmountable.

In February, Zyacorp Entertainment, which operated Cinemagic theaters in Sturbridge and Salisbury, as well as in New Hampshire and Maine, announced its permanent closure. And the state Trial Court, together with the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, is considering using space in the former Eastfield Mall movie theaters to hold jury trials.

In Greenfield, however, a movie theater is about to welcome the public again for the first time since Jan. 10. Following Gov. Charlie Baker’s recent changes to COVID-19 health safety regulations that removed the evening curfew and increased capacity limits, the Garden Cinemas on Main Street will reopen on March 26. According to a Garden Cinemas press release, the capacity limit will be 50 percent.

“It is incredibly hard right now to keep movie theaters alive,” Garden Cinemas owner Isaac Mass said in the release, adding that the Small Business Administration, which is in charge of administering Shuttered Venue Operator Grants approved on Dec. 21, still has not released a draft application. “If we see anything before May, I will be really surprised,” he added.

According to Mass, the Garden Cinemas was ineligible for a $75,000 sector-specific grant program through the state because the entity taking over the 91-year-old theater was formed in August of 2019, so the theater was considered a new business. Mass said his business lost nearly $500,000 in revenue due to the pandemic.

“While we have cut all the costs we can, we have had to pour in a ton of our personal savings to save this theater,” Mass said in the release. “But we know it can come back.”

“We are counting on patrons to keep us going,” added co-owner Angela Mass. “More and more people are getting vaccinated, and we think they will feel more comfortable coming back at the end of March.”

Isaac Mass said the film release schedule looks promising for opening weekend. Universal’s action thriller “Nobody” starring Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”) opens March 26, followed by Warner Brothers’ “King Kong vs. Godzilla” on March 31.

While details are not yet finalized, Isaac Mass added that the Garden Cinemas will present the world premiere of science fiction film “First Signal,” which was partially filmed at the Orange Municipal Airport in 2019. Director Mark Lund is expected to be on site for the opening along with many of the cast and crew members.

“We can’t wait to announce the details of our grand reopening,” Angela Mass said.




Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906

 

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