By Jeff Todd

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – On Friday, one of Colorado’s largest movie theater chains reopened four major locations as moviegoers rejoiced at a chance to leave their homes and creep closer to normal life before the pandemic. Regal Theatres will continue reopening locations in Colorado and nationwide.

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“I hadn’t been to a movie in over a year, and I just wanted to go to a movie. I got to the IMAX which is the best because of the huge screen. And it was this fantastic movie called “Wrath of Man.” It was really good,” said Kay Thompson after she had just walked out of a matinee at the Regal Colorado Mills.

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Nine more locations will reopen in the coming weeks.

Regal reopened theaters at Park Meadows mall, The Peaks in Longmont, Denver Pavilions, and the Colorado Mills location. Safety protocols are in place with mask and distancing requirements.

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“We just like the experience of being in the theatre with the big screen and the sound system,” said Bill McStraw before he headed into the theatre. “It’s a lot of fun to sit and get the experience again.”

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Other businesses around the theater were eager to get moviegoers and residual business back.

“The movie theater being back open is a blessing,” said Tavin Lusk, the manager at Los Chingones next door to the Regal at Colorado Mills. “The theatre was a big part of our business before COVID. Drew in a lot of people. And honestly, we’ve been hurting without it so we’re so stoked to have it back especially Friday and Saturday nights.”

The restaurant is offering people with a movie ticket stub a free drink on some weekdays to try and drive business for both locations.

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“This way we can kind of help each other out in the pandemic because that’s what it’s really been all about,” Lusk said.

Jeff Todd