Madison theater chain to use new seating approach once the current health order expires

MADISON, Wis. — Memorial Day Weekend marks the start of the summer blockbuster season, and this year, it’s looking brighter for both movie-goers and movie theaters.

“I can put it this way,” said Tom Reichelt, Marcus Theaters manager,” Our parking lots weren’t empty this Memorial Day, which was a very good thing.”

Reichelt credits that to “A Quiet Place Part II” and “Cruella,” which drew many people to theaters for the first time since last March.

“The faces on the people walking in were priceless,” he added. “There were lots of grandparents and their grandkids. For some of them, it was the first time they’d seen each other in more than a year.”

After 15 months of closures and changes, limited movie releases and lower crowds, Marcus Theaters is ready for Dane County’s current health order to expire Wednesday.

Starting June 2, vaccinated guests will no longer have to wear masks inside the local chain, and theaters will be able to sell every seat.

Marcus is opting for a ‘2-1-2’ seating method, meaning the chain will leave one empty space between two filled seats.

“It’s to build consumer confidence,” Reichelt said.

He’s optimistic the slate of movies ‘coming soon’ to theaters will help bring movie-goers back.

“We’ve got ‘The Conjuring,’ ‘Peter Rabbit,’ ‘In the Heights,'” Reichelt added. “The box office is back.”

Although Marcus will rely on the honor system for guests to remove their masks, those that show their vaccination cards will receive a free bag of popcorn through June 15th.

Click here for a list of show times and the latest public health & safety information from Marcus Theaters.