Smith Mountain Lake movie theater discusses reopening later this month

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 5:05 PM EDT
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SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A Smith Mountain Lake movie theater is excited to welcome people back later this month.

As of May 27, you can walk into Westlake Cinema, grab a seat and enjoy a movie.

Recently they’ve been spending time cleaning up, training staff and preparing for the big day.

“Now that I think we got these COVID rules relaxed a bit, it’s opened back up. We’re excited, the public’s excited, community’s ready to go and we’re ready to go,” said Nick Hastain, general manager.

And with peak lake season around the corner, peak customer traffic comes with it.

Hastain told WDBJ7 the theater’s seats will fill as rainy lake days bring local folks and tourists in to catch movies.

But in this economy, it’s going to come at a slightly higher cost. Hastain says tickets and concession prices are up a bit, but competitive with the likes of Regal and AMC.

“That has to do really with the expenses - they’ve gone up anywhere from 5% to 6%, as much as 20%. So, some of those had to be raised to offset those costs. But I think we’re fair,” said Hastain.

And having titles like Marvel’s Dr. Strange and Top Gun will help attract people out to the theater. Hastain says having movies like those when they’re out elsewhere is a big boost.

“It’s a big deal. It’s not a second-rate, it’s a first-rate organization, first-rate theater. We’re getting the same stuff that your AMCs and your Regals are getting everywhere else, so we’re excited about it.”

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