“It’s great to be back”: Garland Theater reopens for films on Friday
The force wasn’t with the Garland Theater or anyone 16 months ago. “Star Wars” was the last film to screen at Garland before the pandemic closed theaters around the world.
Garland theater owner Katherine Fritchie looked desperate during a conversation in December when Warner Bros. has announced that all of its 2021 movies will air on HBO Max at the same time they play in theaters.
“It is certainly disheartening,” she said. “To be honest when we closed I thought the pandemic would last a few years.
“I thought we were going to have more waves.”
However, Fritchie and the rest of the world rode the waves, and a semblance of normalcy arrived. The Garland Theater reopens Friday. “Raya and the Last Dragon”, “Boss Baby 2” and “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” will be screened. “It’s family friendly and a little scary,” Fritchie said.
But “The Conjuring” isn’t as scary as Fritchie’s economic situation during the long pandemic. Thanks to the $ 459,000 Shuttered Venue Operator Scholarship, which Fritchie received this month, her budget is balanced.
“It brings us back to where we were,” Fritchie said. “We have paid off our debt and we are getting a cushion for our payroll. Perhaps most surprisingly, the Garland had 40 applicants for 10 jobs.
“It’s hard to believe, considering there are so many restaurants out there looking for people,” Fritchie said. “I guess people, kids and adults alike want to work in a movie theater.”
Fritchie’s daughter, Kiele Rogalski, 23, will serve drinks at the Bon Bon Cocktail Bar with bar manager Jasmine Barnes at Garland, which is surrounded by a number of new boutiques in the revitalized, vibrant and artistic neighborhood. “I’m excited about what’s going on with the Garland District,” Fritchie said.
“It’s definitely different from what it was in the winter when I came to pick up the mail, flush the toilet and make sure the heat was on to make sure we didn’t have frozen pipes. It was a depressing time then, but it’s different now.
Fritchie, who has owned the Garland since 1999, is a little worried about what to expect in theaters, but hopes the movie experience will draw customers in.
“I don’t know what the future of cinema will be,” she said. “But there is nothing like being in a theater. Just the sound and size of the screen and the smell of popcorn is reason enough to go out and see a movie. It’s great to be back.