Fayetteville's Cameo Art House Theatre opens its doors to public for first time in a year

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A staple of downtown Fayetteville is turning its projectors back on and opening its doors to patrons for the first time in more than a year.

The Cameo Art House Theatre is set to have film showtimes starting at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Despite Governor Roy Cooper allowing movie theaters to re-open in October 2020, owners Chris and Nasim Kuenzel chose to remain closed.

Manager James Throssel told ABC11 the decision was made out of an abundance of caution for the COVID-19 metrics.

"We feel like we've gotten to the point where vaccinations are rolling out, and we can do it safely and comfortably for our patrons," Throssel said.

Instead, the longtime downtown business has relied on customers purchasing movies to watch on their website, stopping by to purchase concessions, and most recently, renting out their two auditoriums for private screenings.
EMBED More News Videos

For the first time since March, the Cameo Art House Theatre opened its doors to sell snacks and drinks to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

To create a safe environment, Throssel tells ABC11 that staff has blocked off certain rows in both auditoriums to enforce social distancing and maintain 30 percent capacity.

Their main screen will be able to hold 30 to 40 people, while the upstairs option will seat around 20.

The movie theater, which predominantly shows independent films, will also provide hand sanitizer and clean surfaces after every film.

Throssel, who is an avid filmgoer, says Friday evening's showtimes will be the start of safely getting back to some sort of normal.

"I'm so excited to be able to go and watch them in there again," Throssel said.

The owners tell ABC11 they plan to only have showtimes on the weekend, as they continue to monitor COVID-19 metrics and patron interest.
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.