BRYAN, TX — Life is being brought back into The Queen Theatre in Downtown Bryan all thanks to a two-week movie screening event.
“This Friday, first Friday, we’re showing “Whip it” at the Queen. The Queen is going to open its doors for the first time since the COVID pandemic,” said Alex Garza, President of The Queen Theatre Film Society.
For the last year, The Queen Theatre has sat empty due to the coronavirus pandemic. During the pandemic, the City of Bryan purchased the Queen Theatre.
“We are optimistic I think, we’ve been showing movies for two years and we think with the right partnership, that it can happen,” said Garza.
Earlier this week, Governor Greg Abbott announcing all businesses will be allowed to reopen fully on March 10. While a movie will be showing tomorrow, the City of Bryan has not officially reopened the theater to the public but is allowing the non-profit to use it this Friday.
“Since the start of the pandemic, everything has been touch and go and it’s been hard to gauge the audience's reaction or the willingness of people coming back into a movie theater, and really this is kind of a litmus test to see if people are willing to come back,” said Garza.
COVID-19 precautions will be in place during the event and capacity is limited to just 29 individuals.
“Those seats are paired together, and those seats are six feet apart. We’re asking everybody to wear a mask,” said Garza.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of Texas’ first COVID-19 case. Kendra “Big Daddy Moxie” Finch, a team member of the Brazos Valley Roller Derby and a Bryan native, says, it’s exciting to finally have The Queen Theatre back open.
“So, being from here and coming downtown, there really wasn’t a lot going on. The Queen was always really cool to look at but it was never lit up and as it opened up a few years ago, it was awesome to see it open. Then, when it closed for COVID it wasn’t that great, so now it’s back open,” said Finch.
Finch hopes this special event will excite the community, as things are set to slowly open back up.
“It makes me feel hopeful. I feel hopeful that we’re able to do this really cool event with The Queens Film Society and do something with the public because we just haven’t been able to do that,” said Finch.
To get the community excited, the Roller Derby team will be skating outside of the LaSalle Hotel, selling merchandise and escorting guests to their seats in their roller skates.
Tickets are selling out fast and must be purchased online at thequeensfilmsociety.org. The show starts at 7 pm.
The Queens Film Society will also be showing Arsenic and Old Lace next Friday, March 12th in partnership with Stage Center Community Theater and the City of Bryan.