December 02, 2020
With the ongoing public health crisis crippling local businesses, the Narberth Theater has started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay its bills and keep its doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Montgomery County-based movie theater has raised over $13,000 as of Wednesday morning. The goal of the fundraiser is $100,000 to pay utility bills, rent, payroll, and other expenses.
The theater, which has been showing films since 1927, was shut down at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in March.
While its doors were closed, the theater said that it received a small loan through the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program to help out businesses impacted by the public health crisis.
The theater was finally able to reopen its doors at the end of August, but capacity could not exceed 25%. Movie theater capacity limits in Pennsylvania have since been scaled back to 10%.
Greg Wax, the theater's president, said that business has been slow due to the state’s COVID-19 restrictions and the threat of the ongoing pandemic. The capacity limits have made it almost impossible to generate any income, Wax said.
“The effect has been catastrophic and we are left scrambling to stay open.” Wax said.
“With no government support looking likely and no clear end in sight to the pandemic, we ask that you please help us keep the projectors lit.”
COVID-19 has been catastrophic to our business. We are asking for help from anyone who can. If unable to donate we...Posted by Reel Cinemas PA on Thursday, November 26, 2020
Narberth Theater's financial struggles are emblematic of what has been an extremely difficult period for movie theaters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Philadelphia cleared movie theaters to reopen in September for the first time during the public health crisis. No more than 25 mask-wearing customers were allowed at a time, and no food or drink were permitted.
However, in response to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, the city shut down all movie theaters earlier this month until at least January.
As a result of local and state restrictions, several movie theaters have had to temporarily or permanently close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regal Cinemas temporarily closed all 16 of its movie theaters in the Philly region in October. Last month, the Regal United Artists Riverview Plaza movie theater on Columbus Boulevard in South Philly permanently closed.