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The Little Theatre announces plans to reopen

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The Little Theatre’s marquee neon lights never dimmed when the place closed temporarily a year ago due to the pandemic. Now, the lights inside will dim again, as the theatre announced plans to reopen for public screenings beginning April 16.

The screenings will be limited to 25 percent capacity and on a restricted schedule of Friday through Sunday in theaters 2 through 5. The capacity limits mean no more than 50 people will be in any theater for the time being.

Movie theaters were permitted to reopen with restrictions in October, but Scott Pukos, publicity coordinator for The Little, said the virus infections rates were too high to make opening feasible.

The theater, which is owned by CITY’s parent company, WXXI Public Media, has been open for private rentals since December.

“It’s a start,” Pukos said of the partial public reopening. “Obviously we’re hoping that as the year progresses that more people will get vaccinated and eventually the guidelines will change. But right now, we can only focus on what the situation is now at the moment.”

The Little, which underwent a major renovation just before the pandemic struck, has also upgraded its air filtration systems to comply with state regulations.
The response on social media to The Little reopening has been enthusiastic, Pukos said.

“The messages we got were really encouraging,” Pukos said. “A lot of people have been (saying), ‘I’m ready to get back,‘ and we’ve had people who’ve messaged us, ‘I’m fully vaccinated, I would love to go see a movie.’”

Randy Gorbman is the news director at WXXI News, a media partner of CITY.

David Andreatta is CITY's editor. He can be reached at