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July 31, 2021

Masked crowds turn out for Christmas Day blockbuster release

CENTERVILLE — It was something that was always a given — crowded movie theaters on Christmas Day. This year, moviegoers may have been spread out and wearing masks, but they returned in significant numbers for a blockbuster release and perhaps, a sense of normalcy.

“Wonder Woman 1984” made its highly-anticipated debut at Megaplex Theatres at Legacy Crossing in Centerville as well as numerous other movie houses across the country.

“It’s been great to have another true blockbuster,” said general manager Andy Rhodes. “It’s been a few months since we had the last one.”

Rhodes said sales had been relatively brisk, even though the movie was released simultaneously on HBO Max.

“It’s been a very busy day — all of our auditoriums are full,” said Rhodes, noting that auditoriums continued to hold roughly about 30 to 35 percent of their normal capacity to accommodate for social distancing.

To many in attendance, simply streaming the film just wouldn’t be the same.

“We stay home and we watch movies at home, but it’s just not the same thing as going out and getting popcorn, having the whole movie experience,” said Dan Drumiler. “This has been a really fun thing for us to do — even with the guidelines in place.”

With many theatrical releases already delayed into 2021, Rhodes hoped a strong holiday showing might help give Hollywood some confidence.

“We want to show Hollywood that people are willing to come out and watch movies,” Rhodes said. “There’s a big backlog of movies coming in 2021 and hopefully they can just keep that going and we can just keep this train moving along.”

Rhodes said he was glad to see people showing up on what has traditionally been one of the year’s busiest nights.

“Whether it’s action movies or a comedy, there’s just something about being in a crowd that makes the whole experience much better,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll continue to get a lot of good movies coming along.”

Andrew Adams

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