How Coral Gables Art Cinema adapted to the pandemic (includes video story)

Launched in 2006, Coral Gables Art Cinema is a non-profit movie theatre that typically shows independent and foreign films. In addition, it screens classic films, special programs and hosts festival events in an attempt to reach out to as many nationalities and cultures as possible. The cinema consists of a box office, a concessions stand, and one auditorium. 

As with numerous other small businesses, Coral Gables Art Cinema was deeply impacted by the coronavirus. This is due to the fact that it had to close on March 18 and wasn’t able to reopen until September 21. During these six months, the cinema lost $250,000 in revenue. Moreover, it had to furlough approximately 90% of the staff to cut expenses. This was a major challenge for the cinema. 

However, when opened, the cinema implemented new safety regulations for customers and staff alike. They all ultimately adapted to the pandemic. The theatre made it mandatory to wear a mask in the building and takes customers’ temperatures upon arrival. Additionally, the cinema set up various hand-sanitizing stations around the theater, including in the lobby and the auditorium. Finally, seating was updated to allow for social distancing between customers.

Throughout the pandemic, small businesses — and specifically theaters — have had to face major issues that put their very existence at risk. Many enterprises have survived. Others have not. 

Dan Leiferman is a junior at Florida International University who is majoring in communications. Leiferman's passions include sports, writing, and any form of creative expression.