ITHACA, N.Y. –– After months of being closed to the public due to coronavirus safety precautions, and then a modified reopening with private screenings in March, Ithaca’s independent movie theater Cinemapolis is finally reopening to the general public.

The reopening is slated for Friday, June 25, to coincide with “Cinema Week 2021” –– a nationwide celebration amongst theaters “designed to re-energize moviegoing as the film business emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Cinema Week at Cinemapolis will feature, “an array of festival favorites, award-winning documentaries, and special events” including a screening of Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It and The Truffle HuntersSummer of 85, a queer coming of age romance from France; the feel-good British dramedy, Dream Horse; horror-comedy Werewolves Within, presented in conjunction with Ithaca Fantastik; and pair of Pride events featuring screenings of John Waters classics and pre-show parties with the performers of Ithaca’s Flame Night Fever.

“As restrictions on public gatherings continue to be lifted, it’s time for Cinemapolis to get back into the movie business,” said Executive Director Brett Bossard. “The staff and I are excited to see our Cinemapolitans returning to safely enjoy movies the way they were meant to be seen—on the big screen.”

Regularly scheduled screenings will take place Thursday through Sunday throughout the summer, with specific showtimes and advance tickets available to purchase at Cinemapolis.org.

Enhanced health and safety protocols aligned with the CinemaSafe program will still be in effect including air filtration and fresh air intake for each theater’s isolated HVAC system, frequent disinfection of “high touch” surfaces, regular disinfection of each screening room, hand sanitizing stations throughout the cinema, and new hands-free faucets, fixtures, and dispensers in all restrooms. 

Additionally, all staff and guests will be required to wear face masks when in any common area of the theater. Patrons may remove their masks when seated and enjoying snacks in their screening room. Seating in each auditorium will be limited to 50 percent of total capacity to allow social distancing between parties.

Showtimes will also be spaced further apart to minimize the potential for congestion in lobby areas. Due to these limited capacities and showtimes, patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance online. 

Bossard added that some of the pandemic-era programming will be sticking around, as well.

“We understand that some fans of the cinema may still be staying away from crowds for a while, so our Virtual Cinema platform will keep rolling through the summer.”

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com