Christmas marks busy, important day for Zeus Digital Theaters
WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - While many businesses are closed on Christmas, it’s one of the busiest days of the year for movie theaters like Zeus Digital Theaters in Waynesboro, which saw a big increase in business during the holiday on Saturday.
“It’s probably one of our busiest days honestly,” said Cody Duff, general manager of Zeus Digital Theaters. “It’s not something that a lot of people would think of being that it’s a holiday generally around family and stuff but it’s actually more of a family tradition for a lot of people.”
The Waynesboro movie theater was hit hard by the pandemic and it’s businesses has slowly been rebounding over the last year. There was a big increase in moviegoers on Saturday compared to last Christmas.
“The last time I looked we had about 250 people here just for the first showings so that’s pretty good, usually during Christmas time our first showtimes it’s not too busy because people are still waking up, opening up gifts, and stuff like that,” said Duff.
For many people, going to the movies for a relaxing afternoon is as much a part of their Christmas tradition as unwrapping gifts.
“We have done this for a couple years now,” said Avery Hansen who has gone to the movie theater on Christmas with her sister Karis and the rest of her family for the last few years. “I mean you open presents in the morning and then what do you do the rest of the day, so we enjoy it. We just find a random movie, just go, and it’s nice.”
“It’s just another shared experience I’d say, you know you could do anything really on Christmas and the reason it’s good is because you’re with your family,” added Karis Hansen.
For other moviegoers, the theater is a nice way to unwind after a hectic holiday season.
“We figured it’d be a little bit maybe slower today and all the Christmas stuff is done and we can relax and watch a good movie,” said Penny Rachiell who was taking her grandson to see the new Spiderman film.
As Zeus Theaters continues to recover from the pandemic’s toll on its business this year’s winter blockbusters have been a big help.
“The movies that have been coming out have really helped us out, like Spiderman being a big list movie, Matrix, all these movies coming back and bringing back sort of old memories and bringing a lot of people back into the theaters,” said Duff.
The theater expects to see an average of 1,000 customers a day on the weekends over the next month, bringing it closer to pre-pandemic levels.
“Before COVID, we had that pretty consistently throughout everyday without it just being our busy days, so we’re not quite back to normal but we’re definitely getting closer that’s for sure,” said Duff.
Duff added the sizable turnout on Christmas day is a good sign for the theater going forward.
“More people are coming out, more people are starting to get comfortable with coming in seeing movies, and being around others without having to worry and stuff so I think it shows us in the long run doing a lot better and getting back to normal,” he said.
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