ORANGE CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – One of the industries hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic is movie theaters.
To help combat the problem, Governor Kim Reynolds announced on Friday she will be allocating CARES Act funding to theaters, and Orange City’s theater is taking advantage of the funding.
“We will come here to watch movies that Sioux Center doesn’t have or to hang out with Northwestern friends,” said Kaleb Schreurs and Payton Kooi friends from Sioux Center.
It’s a Friday night tradition for Kaleb Schreurs and Payton Kooi.
“There’s something about being in a theater watching a movie. It sucks you into the storyline that your laptop, computer screen, TV, or even a projector on a wall just can’t do,” said Kaleb and Payton.
Due to the pandemic, theaters across the U.S. have continued to struggle.
“COVID has hit the movie industry really hard, and I don’t know if we will be able to come back from it. We are hopeful, and hopefully, we are getting in the near end of all this, and that would be great,” said Aaron Krull, owner of Holland Plaza Theatre in Orange City.
To help keep his business up and running, Krull plans to apply for the Iowa Movie Theatre Relief Program. The grant will provide up to $10,000 per screen.
“It’s going to help us not have to shut down our movie theaters, so once this is all over and Hollywood starts producing great movies again, and we are able to kick the movie industry back up again, we will be here,” said Krull.
In the meantime, Krull says he will continue to think outside the box offering classic movies as well as popcorn to go but his biggest competitor is outside the box office.
“All of our big tent movies that we were relying on as movie theaters rely on no time to die or a lot of the kids movies have dried up a lot of these movies have been moved back or they are getting sold to Netflix or HBO,” said Krull.
The movie theater experience is one like no other and Kaleb and Payton say they hope Holland Plaza Theatre doors stay open.
“I love streaming as much as the next guy, but there is definitely an experience going to the movie theaters and getting the mass-produced popcorn and sitting in the seats,” said Kaleb and Payton.
The application window will open on Monday, November 9, and close at 5 p.m. on Monday, November 16.