As our closure continues…
Dear a/perture cinema patrons,
In conjunction with local and state guidelines, in collaboration with other art house cinemas across the country, and with feedback we’re currently gathering from our members, we are developing our plan for reopening plan in anticipation of the time when we are able to welcome you all back to the cinema. At this time, we are still unsure when that will be.
As the City of Arts & Innovation, Winston-Salem is a resilient community. And we will need both art and innovation to get us through this unprecedented time. Thank you for your support, your encouragement, and patience as we work to sustain our mission from a distance, for now. We look forward to seeing you at the movies again soon.
So, where are we now?
We’re offering films you can’t see anywhere else—at home!
Through our virtual cinema, we’ve been able to offer over 100 films during our closure, including special events and series for Pride, social justice, and human rights. On average, we add at least 3 new films each week, and we’re able to keep them longer than we would typically have them in the theater. You can keep up with our latest films here on our website, by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, and by following us on Facebook & Instagram.Virtual cinema supports us just like a physical ticket would, with an average of 50% of your purchase directly benefiting a/perture. Even after we re-open, we anticipate keeping some virtual cinema selections so you can continue to enjoy the art of film however you’re most comfortable.
Need help watching these films at home? We have a help page with video tutorials, and many of the films provide additional instructions or FAQs as well.
We’re making upgrades & adjustments to the cinema.
a/perture cinema is proud to be one of more than 300 theaters committed to the CinemaSafe campaign, which promotes unified protocols and guidelines developed and supported by leading epidemiologists to support a safe return to movie theaters.
In addition to updating our staff procedures to include enhanced cleaning, hand sanitation stations, and PPE, we’re also making adjustments to the cinema. Here’s what you can expect when we reopen:
We’ve added plexiglass windows at the concession counter to protect our staff and patrons. Capacity in our theaters will be reduced according to state guidelines and seating will be spaced. In between screenings, we will use a cold fog sprayer device with a non-toxic EPA-approved disinfectant and an anti-microbial surface protectant to clean our theaters.
During our closure, we’re improving our website & online ticketing system to offer advance / reserved seating in conjunction with physical distancing guidelines. This will lead to fewer transactions in the theater and less congested traffic in our lobby.
We’ve also upgraded our HVAC units with a HALO-LED air purification system. This system will significantly reduce airborne and surface microbials, bacteria, viruses, and mold, as well as allergens, dust, and particulates.
We’re offering private rentals for small groups.
We’re confident this is the safest way for us to offer you the theatrical experience at this time. We’re currently offering select dates for private screenings with groups of up to 12 people. These rentals take place in our upstairs studios, and only one rental group is allowed per day. Best of all, you can watch anything you want–whether it’s a favorite from your home library, from a streaming service, or something you’ve rented from our virtual cinema that you’d like to watch on the big screen!
We’re waiting for when the time is right.
As your community cinema, we know it’s more than a question of when to re-open, but when is best to re-open. Currently, state guidelines prohibit movie theaters from re-opening until Phase 3, but we’ve developed our own criteria for when we feel it will be safest to resume in-theater operations. These criteria include:
- Consistent and sustained 3-week plateau of COVID cases in North Carolina
- 3-week downward trend in active COVID cases in Forsyth and surrounding counties
- Positive survey feedback from members, patrons, and national trends for returning to theaters and other arts & cultural activities
We’re navigating the financial impact of the pandemic.
To date, our annual revenue has been impacted by $200,000 since our closure, and that number will only continue to grow. As alarming as this is, we’re not alone. According to the The National Association of Theatre Owners, movie theaters have lost 93% of their box office from last year.
We’re grateful for your continued support
Your financial and emotional support, in addition to the carefully considered planning and preparations we are engaged in now, ensure that we will return with the strength to pursue our mission of enriching our community through film that challenges, inspires, educates and entertains for years to come.
By making a contribution, no matter the amount, you will not only help to alleviate the lack of operational revenue during our closure but also ensure that we will be able to re-open with minimal disruption as soon as it is safe for us all to gather and celebrate the art of film, together.
- Americans for the Arts, ArtsBlog, Member Spotlight: Lawren Desai (Americans for the Arts, Artsblog)
- Local theatres using virtual cinema, first-run films to survive difficult times (Winston-Salem Journal)
- How Winston-Salem’s Art House Theater has Used Virtual Screenings to Bring Movies to the Masses (Winston-Salem Journal)
- Local Theater Hopes to Reopen After Credits Roll on the Pandemic (WFMY News)
- North Carolina’s Local Movie Theaters Struggle to Survive Coronavirus Pandemic (WFAE 90.7)
- Richard Linklater Talks the Future of Cinema–from His Own Empty Theater (The New Yorker)
Thank you to these organizations for their financial support.