Doylestown’s acclaimed art house theater is preparing to reopen June 4, “in a gradual return to normal,” said John Toner, the County Theater’s founding director.
Closed for a multimillion dollar expansion and renovation project since January 2020, the theater on East State Street will open on weekends initially, Toner said, showing classic films, such as “Casablanca” and “His Girl Friday” for the first few weeks.
“We’re viewing this as a gradual return to normal operating,” the founding director said Monday.
He expects the theater to be fully operational in July, with a gala opening planned for sometime in the fall.
The nonprofit County has more than 5,000 members and, while 50 percent have maintained their membership throughout the closure, half have lapsed, said Toner. “We hope everyone will come back,” he added.
As COVID-19 health and safety protocols continue evolving, Toner said, the theater is monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines along with other members of the National Association of Theater Owners.
“We’ll be seeing what the industry as a whole is doing,” regarding capacity, face coverings, distancing and other matters surrounding the pandemic, said Toner.
The historic theater, a staple in the community since 1938, has installed new, larger seats in its existing theater – one has 110 seats, the other has 86 – and, the new, third theater has 180 seats.