Virus scare fails to close historic theatre

WHILE other businesses have shut their doors amid Coronavirus anxiety, Grafton's Saraton Theatre remains open - and for good reason.

During the Great Depression people turned to comic books to distract themselves from their harsh realities. Today, movie theatres provide a similar mental escape from the pandemic pandemonium, even if only for a few hours.


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Of course, an economic collapse isn't quite as infectious as a biological threat, so Saraton Theatre management have assured patrons of increased health and safety measures.

"We've dropped the number of people to a maximum of 50 people per screening so there's enough room for them to have a safe distance," manager Shelley Gilbert said.

"Our air conditioners are also on fresh air rather than recirculation and there's plenty of hand sanitiser available."

Ms Gilbert said there had been little impact on the number for patrons attending the heritage-listed theatre.

"People are still coming in to watch a movie, especially the oldies," she said.

"Our plan is to stay open until we're told we have to close. But in the meantime, we're looking at other ways to work within the new social distancing rules and plan ahead for any future restrictions."

Ms Gilbert said this would include a new screening timetable which will stagger session times to reduce the number of people entering and exiting the theatre at the same time.

"This might also include reducing our seating capacity again, but no matter what, we're determined to stay open,"

"Just like the band on the Titanic, we'll keep playing until the ship sinks!"

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