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Aksarben Cinema welcomes back patrons after 5 months

Posted at 6:21 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 19:21:38-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Several movie theaters will be reopening across the country this weekend, including a locally-owned movie theater.

The owner of Aksarben Cinema, Bill Barstow, is eager to welcome back patrons this weekend for the first time in five months.

The theater could have opened safely earlier, but Barstow was waiting for something worth showing. Since many studios have delayed their release dates, this is the first week new movies will be available to watch on the big screen.

“One of the rules that I said was, we couldn’t open until we had consistent supply of big films coming from major studios, and this week actually starts that," Barstow said.

Friday night the theater would be showing several new movies including Unhinged starring Russell Crowe. And on August 31 will be another large release: Christopher Nolan’s new film Tenant.

Barstow believes the new trend of movies being available to stream at home won’t be detrimental to his business because there just some things people enjoy about watching a movie in the theaters.

“I don’t go to bed at night worrying about streaming," Barstow said. "I love to stream, you love to stream. There’s lots of interesting studies, and somebody who streams a lot is a frequent movie goer. So those two thing work hand in hand.”

The theater is taking several precautions to keep guests safe including requiring masks, having six feet of space between groups on all sides and offering touch free ticket purchases online.

The past five months has hit the theater hard financially, and Barstow hopes as several movie theater chains are reopening this weekend, people will chose to visit locally owned theaters.

“The CEO and the owner of AMC is not sitting inside their theater to make sure everything is done right, but you’re getting Bill and Colleen here to make sure that you’re getting the right thing.”

You can find tickets and more of the theaters policies at