Cinemapolis, Ithaca’s member-supported independent movie theater, is celebrating Cinema Week 2021 with an exciting return to public screenings at the cinema. Beginning on Friday, June 25, the non-profit art house will once again open its doors for a weekend filled with a mix of festival favorites, award-winning documentaries, and special events. Regularly scheduled screenings will take place Thursday through Sunday throughout the summer, with specific showtimes and advance tickets available to purchase at Cinemapolis.org.
The big screen experience will feel a little different when movie-goers return to the cinema. Following guidance from the CDC and State and local health departments, Cinemapolis has instituted enhanced health and safety protocols aligned with the CinemaSafe program. These include improved 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% of total capacity to allow patrons to sufficiently distance their party from other guests. 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.
Brett Bossard, executive director of the cinema, is overjoyed to welcome patrons back the downtown fixture: “As restrictions on public gatherings continue to be lifted, it’s time for Cinemapolis to get back into the movie business. 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.” Bossard adds 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.”
The first weekend of in-person public programming is a mix-tape of Cinemapolis staples: a pair of Sundance documentaries— Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It and The Truffle Hunters; Summer of 85, a queer coming of age romance from France that was a hit at the Toronto International Film Festival; the feel-good British dramedy, Dream Horse; horror-comedy Werewolves Within, presented with conjunction with Ithaca Fantastik; and pair of special Pride Flicks events featuring screenings of John Waters classics and pre-show parties with the performers of Ithaca’s Flame Night Fever. Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) arrives on July 2.