Vassar Theater gets creative to weather another shutdown

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 6:48 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (11/19/2020) - Yet another setback for mid-Michigan theaters.

Governor Whitmer has temporarily shuttered all movie houses for three weeks.

For more than 80 years, the Vassar theater has entertained local residents.

The art deco one screen gem can hold 281 customers.

But, it’s empty again, after another shutdown.

“We need this oasis away from daily life, because it’s gotten quite difficult as we all know,” said Vassar Theater owner Andreas Fuchs.

Frustration is mounting for Fuchs, who has owned the Vassar Theater for the past six years.

Seating has been reduced to just 56 customers, or 20% capacity, as well as following safety procedures, with plenty of hand sanitizer, facemasks, and alternate row seating.

Federal assistance and state grants have helped, but other corners have had to be cut as well.

“Well, I’ve learned how high our air-conditioning bill is in the summer really, because we didn’t have any this summer,” commented Fuchs. “So, that’s the biggest savings that we can have. We’re looking at three weeks of no heat.”

Fuchs is taking cues from a shutdown last summer when their digital projector died.

“We listened to our customers, and they said, well, at least we want some popcorn. So, we’ll be open every day from 4pm to 7pm.”

Movie lovers were returning before this latest shutdown.

Fuchs hopes they will “Be Back” again on December 9th if these latest restrictions are lifted.

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