Joplin movie fans head back to the big screen

A Theater Employee Prepares Movie Popcorn

JOPLIN, Mo. – Joplin’s biggest theater is once again open after being closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, and 4-State fans of big screen entertainment are already coming back and for a variety of reasons.

“It was a Friday so I got off early at school, and it was just like, ‘Why not,'” said movie-goer Cameron Ball.

“I like the way the sound is here and I also like the movie theater’s quality,” said movie-goer Joshua Dial.

“I’m a Regal Unlimited member so I enjoyed coming to the movies every day up until they closed it, and not having that in my life has really been a void,” said movie-goer James Brown.

The big screen, big sound, and snack bar treats were all popular motivators for getting theater seats filled, but there was one answer local movie goers kept coming back to: the community.

“Going back to like Phantom Menace: Episode 1, where people were standing in line and having a bonding experience of waiting to see something epic that everybody was excited for, versus sitting on your couch saying, ‘I can’t wait till this starts up,'” said Brown.

“You have a lot more people. You’ll get to listen to more reactions than just yourself. It’s better than streaming in bed or watching YouTube or something else,” said Ball.

As far as COVID-19 restrictions go, Joplin’s Regal Northstar is only requiring patrons to wear masks and isn’t requiring social distancing.

The pandemic has been rough on movie theaters nationwide, but if they all have fans as passionate as the ones in Joplin, things might just work out.

“They should be coming back because it’s magical to be watching a movie on the big screen. It’s pretty cool,” said Dial.