The State of Massachusetts has removed food restrictions from theater operation guidelines! This means you will once again be able to eat popcorn and have a drink with your favorite movie at Tower Theaters.
Concerned about people eating in the theater? Everyone has to decide their own level of comfort with any activity they do in the current environment. I can tell you that Tower Theaters is following all safety protocols, including the very extensive CinemSafe guidelines developed by NATO (the National Association of Theater Owners) for movie theaters, as well as Massachusetts protocols for movie theater and restaurant operations.
Currently, 49 of 52 States/ territories have allowed theaters to open without food service restrictions (except in certain small regions), and there have been no reported problems. With all of the precautions theaters have in place, we are as safe, or safer, than other "going out" options. For distancing, we've removed every other row of seating and installed table tops, plus the ticketing system blocks three seats around every individual or group. We have separate HVAC units for each theater and the lobby, and they've all been fitted with MERV-13 hospital grade filters. Our systems blow air down from above, not across the room, and have been adjusted to bring in more fresh air from outside.
With everyone seated facing forward, the high ceilings and large auditoriums, reduced capacity and socially distant seating, enhanced cleaning protocols, glass and plexiglass barriers in the lobby, and contactless payment systems, theaters are among the safer options out there for indoor activities. Masks will still be required at all times except while seated and eating concessions.
The change in State guidelines only apply to cities and towns that have demonstrated a continual low spread rate of the virus. Areas with higher rates of infections will not be allowed to enter Step 2 of Phase III until their spread rate goes down. Localities that have flare ups in the future could be set back a step. It is up to all of us to keep wearing our masks and maintaining social distance to keep everyone safe while we navigate this complex time.