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A cinematic comeback? Sisters Movie House hopes so

(Update: Adding video, comments)

'The next couple months will tell us a lot'

SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- With just a few weeks before the end of the year, the film industry is still struggling to make a comeback after a historic blow in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Box office sales in 2021 have already outpaced a disastrous 2020, but sales still lag nearly 70% behind 2019′s $11.4 billion haul.

But there appears to a return to normalcy, as moviegoers become more comfortable returning to the theater while studios unveil a slew of major blockbuster titles during the holidays.

And here on the High Desert, Sisters Movie House co-owner Drew Kaza is hopeful for what lies ahead.

Kaza said Monday he believes theater owners like himself are still roughly 30%-40% behind schedule, but the tide looks to be turning.

"We've had a big uptick in the last month or two, particularly with the new James Bond film," Kaza said.

Kaza says they opened the theater back up in May, after being closed for more than 400 days due to COVID-19 restrictions.

He says business became so difficult, the theater was down more than 90% in 2020.

"If we can start to see levels that are close to what we saw in 2019 in the month of December, we'll be really happy," Kaza said. "We do have some big films to help us with that, like Spider Man: Far From Home, Sing 2, and here on Christmas Day, we'll be opening American Underdog, the story of Kurt Warner."

Kaza says the business has always been cyclical, in his experience, and the holiday season is a key indicator to gauge where the theater stands.

"The next couple months will tell us a lot," Kaza said.

Kaza says while the theater is adhering to COVID protocols, he and his staff will not act as the "mask police" to moviegoers.

"If we got to that point I think it would be very detrimental to our business," Kaza said.

Kaza added that the theater has been overwhelmed by the support and generosity of the community to keep the business going.

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Alec Nolan

Alec Nolan is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Alec here.

Comments

8 Comments

  1. Can just anyone go to a movie now? I can’t keep up. With outdoor concerts requiring papers and tests I wouldn’t know what to make of an indoor event seated right on top of each other. What kinds of things does a person have to do to go to a movie now?

    1. How do you feel about supporting a local cinema theater who provides local employment? Sisters Movie House has never raked in $11.4 Billion in their time in business. Sisters Movie House is a locally owned theater.

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