An employee at the Century Federal Way movie theatres sanitizes a plexiglass screen on reopening day Oct. 16. High-touch surfaces are disinfected every 30 minutes, the company says. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror

An employee at the Century Federal Way movie theatres sanitizes a plexiglass screen on reopening day Oct. 16. High-touch surfaces are disinfected every 30 minutes, the company says. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror

Cinemark reopens Century Federal Way movie theater

Masks required, seats are sanitized between showings and no free refills.

Don’t forget the movie tickets — or your mask.

The Common’s Cinemark Century Federal Way movie theater reopened to the public last Friday.

As one of just four Cinemark locations to be reopened statewide, Federal Way’s Century theater has several new health and safety guidelines in place to follow.

Movie-goers trickled into the theater on Oct. 16 to see “The War with Grandpa,” starring Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, and Christopher Walken.

The enhanced health and safety measures are part of the Cinemark Standard, which includes mask requirements for staff and visitors, staggered movie showings, reduced capacities and more:

  • Theater employees will wear face masks while working, and complete a wellness check-in prior to every shift.
  • Each movie auditorium will be extensively disinfected between showtimes using pressurized sprayers with products identified by the EPA to be effective in eliminating COVID-19.
  • For ticket sales, new technology will automatically block specific seats to abide by proper distancing.
  • Face masks are mandatory for all guests within the theater and may only be removed for eating and drinking in the auditoriums.
  • All public and high-touch spaces will be thoroughly sanitized every 30 minutes.
  • Ample supplies of seat wipes and hand sanitizer will be available for customer use.
  • Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets online and use contactless payment methods for a more contact-free experience. Cash payment options are limited.

Most visitors were happy to be back, although some felt the reopening was overdue.

“It’s great, I missed it a lot,” said Scott Hastinges, a Maple Valley resident. “I think Gov. Inslee should’ve opened these theaters a long time ago and required people to do the six-foot rule and wear a mask … I can actually already sense that it’s cleaner.”

Hastinges said being back at the movies feels like a step toward slowly getting back into the norm.

Movie club members and local residents Jan Skaggs and her wife, Roberta, said going to the movies is one of their favorite pastimes. Jan, a recent survivor of breast cancer, and Roberta, a recent survivor of ovarian cancer, have to take extra precautions for their health.

“We’ve really been sad that the movies have been closed,” Jan Skaggs said, adding that the theaters and several other Federal Way businesses are “are doing what they need to do” to keep patrons and employees safe.

Other theaters

In addition to Federal Way, other open Cinemark locations include Cinemark Lincoln Square Cinemas (700 Bellevue Way NE, Lincoln Square North Tower, Bellevue, WA 98004), Century Point Ruston and XD (5057 Main Street, Tacoma, WA 98407) and Cinemark Grand Cinemas (formerly Hallett Grand Cinemas 12, located at 1325 W. Poplar Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362).


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Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
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