West Mall 7 reopens with a different movie-going experience


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — After closing down its auditoriums in March, the West Mall 7 Theatres reopened Friday, though the movie going experience will be a little different.

West Mall 7 Theatres hopes its reopening will help fulfill that missing movie theater experience.

“Popcorn is number one. That’s the number one thing people miss about coming here is the popcorn. We’re playing some older movies, some vintage movies that we feel might be a little fun for people. Some of these movies people have never seen in an auditorium,” Owner Todd Frager said.

Kari Elling came to the theatre today to get some of that movie theatre popcorn, to go.

“For sure. I’ve been craving it. I definitely want to see a movie too, I’m just going to the lake this weekend and taking some popcorn with me,” Elling said.

Though she says she’s happy to see the theatre reopening.

“I’m excited about it. I’m ready to see movies, I’m ready to get out. I think I’ve got some friends that are willing to go and be as socially distant as we need to be,” Canton Resident Kari Elling said.

To ensure safety, the theatre is offering online ticketing, installing barriers at concession stands, staggering movie start times, limiting capacity to 40% per auditorium, and limiting most movies to two screenings a day.

“That’s going to give us 90 minutes between shows to go in. We’re going to disinfect, you know wipe the chair, the armrests down, the headrests down. Just try to protect our audience more that way,” Frager said.

The theatre is ready for people to come back, but asks for patience when they do.

“I want people to come, but by no means do I want people to rush in here. We’ve got to figure out, because this is a new standard, and it’s going to take some time adapting,” Frager said.

The theatre says it’s looking at implementing online reservations for its theatres to help with social distancing. They’re also offering a private auditorium for small group’s to reserve.

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