Smell the popcorn? Movie theater in Greenfield reopens

Franklin County

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – An iconic theater in Greenfield is ready to reopen Friday as COVID-19 restrictions ease in Massachusetts.

The Greenfield Garden Cinemas reopened Friday with it’s first movie showing of ‘Raya and the Last Dragon’ at 12:00 p.m. They will be allowed to host 50-percent capacity.

After 91 years in business, the theater has struggled during the pandemic.

Isaac Mass co-owns the cinema with his wife. He said they’ve been restocking everything, getting it ready for opening day, “People are so ready to get back to a sense of normalcy and going to a movie on the weekend is part of that routine.”

Mass says they have lost almost half-a-million dollars in revenue.

“It is incredibly hard right now to keep movie theaters alive. If we see anything before May, I will be really surprised. While we have cut all the costs we can, we have had to pour in a ton of our personal savings to save this theater, but we know it can come back.”

GARDEN CINEMA OWNER ISAAC MASS

Every other row is taped off for social distancing and they’re asking people to keep their arm rests down, that way they know which ones to clean.

“Wear their mask until their seated eating popcorn in the theater and to put it back on if they get up to go to the restroom,” said Mass.

The grand reopening of the nearly century-old staple comes with something new, the first public showing of “First Signal.” Most of it was shot right in Orange by the airport.

“To have this premiere not only where we filmed it, in the general area where we filmed is just so excited and rewarding,” said Mass.

Mark Lund wrote, directed and produced it. From Massachusetts himself, the cast crew come from all over New England with one of the voiceover artist from Turners Falls. Many of them will be there for the world premiere at 7:00 p.m.

“This past year has been really trying so many industries, particularly the entertainment industry. It’s about community and working with the variety of different areas other community to make it possible,” said Lund.

Screenings will feature:

“Nobody” 

A bystander who intervenes to help a woman being harassed by a group of men becomes the target of a vengeful drug lord.

Starring: Bob Odenkirk, Christopher Lloyd, Connie Nielsen, J.P. Manoux, Humberly Gonzalez, Gage Munroe


“First Signal” 

When Air Force Space Command receives a signal from an alien satellite in Earth orbit an emergency meeting with the President reveals a government conspiracy.

Starring: Paul Noonan, Conor Timmis, Wendy Hartman

The Garden Cinemas will be presenting the World Theatrical Premiere of sci-fi film First Signal partially filmed pre-pandemic at the airport in nearby Orange, Massachusetts. First Signal just completed a tour on the all virtual 2020 pandemic festival circuit and was an official selection of 27 festivals winning 16 different awards. Director Mark Lund, judge from TV’s Skating with the Celebrities is expected to be on site for the opening along with many of the cast and crew.


“The Courier”

Cold War spy Greville Wynne and his Russian source try to put an end to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel Brosnahan, Jessie Buckley, Merab Ninidze, Angus Wright, Kirill Pirogov


“Chaos Walking”

Todd Hewitt lives on the distant planet of New World – a new hope for humanity until struck by The Noise, a virus which inflicts immersive visions of ones’ every thought. The cacophony drives many mad until Todd makes a hidden, silent discovery: there is a girl named Viola, who may be the key to unlocking New World’s many layered secrets. Together, the two unlikely companions are forced on a white-knuckle adventure into an unexplored planet – trying to escape and hide in an environment where all thought is heard, all movement seen – as they both discover the truth about the lives they left behind and the spectacular world they’ve learned to call home.

Starring: Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Mads Mikkelsen, Dem¡an Bichir, Kurt Sutter, Nick Jonas


“Raya and the Last Dragon”

Long ago, in the fantasy world of Kumandra, humans and dragons lived together in harmony. But when sinister monsters known as the Druun threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, those same monsters have returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the last dragon in order to finally stop the Druun for good. However, along her journey, she’ll learn that it’ll take more than dragon magic to save the world, it’s going to take trust as well.

Starring: Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina


“Tom & Jerry”

Tom the cat and Jerry the mouse get kicked out of their home and relocate to a fancy New York hotel, where a scrappy employee named Kayla will lose her job if she can’t evict Jerry before a high-class wedding at the hotel. Her solution? Hiring Tom to get rid of the pesky mouse.

CAST: Chloe Grace Moretz, Michael Pena, Ken Jeong, Colin Jost, Rob Delaney, Christina Chong


“The Mauritanian”

A detainee at the U.S military’s Guantanamo Bay detention center is held without charges for over a decade and seeks help from a defense attorney for his release.

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Jodie Foster, Shailene Woodley, Tahar Rahim, Zachary Levi, Langley Kirkwood


“Godzilla vs. Kong” opens March 31



“We are counting on patrons to keep us going, more and more people are getting vaccinated and we think they will feel more comfortable coming back at the end of March.” says co-owner Angela Mass

Tickets are $9.50 for adults and $8.50 for children under 12. Matinee prices are reduced to $6.50 for any showings before 6:00 p.m. All showings are $5.00 on Tuesdays.

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