Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show


James Farley

People can enjoy a night out at the movies at O’Neil Cinemas in Littleton, MA.

James Farley, Staff Writer

People around the world have been held out of movie theaters due to the COVID-19 pandemic, putting a night out at the movies on hold for a year.  Just recently however, we can release the pause button, as a new opportunity for viewers to enjoy a movie at the theater has arisen.  Your craving for a night out at the movies can be satisfied.

Under certain guidelines, O’Neil Cinemas, at The Point in Littleton, is allowing audiences back in their theaters.  People are encouraged to make a private rental for an entire theater in order to maintain social distancing while masked.  For the price of $200, as many as 25 people are welcome in a theater, keeping the theater under 50% capacity at all times.  To go along with limited viewers, all theaters are sanitized in between movies, helping to keep everyone safe.  Guests are required to bring a disc copy of their desired movie, as no new movies will be showcased at the cinema.  With these rules in place at O’Neil’s, movies are back on the screen, and I was able to enjoy this experience firsthand.

One night a few weekends ago, my friends and I attended O’Neil Cinemas to watch Central Intelligence.  After months of streaming movies from home, it felt great to be taken straight to the open, modern lobby of the cinema by an employee.  Bright and updated signs filled the lobby, catching the eyes of whoever attends this theater.  While the appealing advertisements around the carpeted lobby were eye-opening, another clear observation caught my attention.  Aside from our group, barely anybody else was wandering in the lobby, helping us to feel safe with the social distancing protocols being carried out.

Right away, the workers offered us the chance to purchase snacks for the movie at the concessions stand, where people in line must stand six feet apart from each other.  We were all pleasantly surprised that even with the COVID-19 restrictions, the snack bar was still open for a sweet or salty treat.  

After a short wait in the lobby, we were led to our designated, freshly sanitized theater in what seemed to be a blink of an eye.  Filing in, I immediately realized that this O’Neil Cinemas’ movie theater was the most updated theater I had ever watched a movie in and was extremely impressed.  Carpeted floors, a gigantic, clear screen, and cozy reclining chairs filled the theater, making the area quite impressive.

Settling into the theater, my friends and I sat two seats away from each other to abide by O’Neil’s regulations, helping to ensure our safety at all times.  We were now good to go for our movie.  The stadium seating throughout the theater, great speakers, and high-definition movie screen made for an excellent viewing experience.

While watching the movie was certainly a fun experience for me at the theater, my favorite part of our outing at O’Neil Cinemas was the interaction with friends.  It has been difficult for everyone to find enjoyable and safe outings amidst the pandemic, and this is a perfect opportunity to take if you are looking for an activity to fill your schedule.  The price of $2oo to rent a theater at O’Neil’s is money well spent, perfect for people seeking either a family outing or night out with friends.  The only drawback to this experience is how you must bring a disc of your desired movie rather than watching a new release, as O’Neil Cinemas is not showing new films due to the pandemic.  That being said, O’Neil’s is still a fabulous option for watching a movie, keeping you safe in an amazing viewing environment.

All in all, I truly enjoyed my experience at O’Neil Cinemas, and felt totally safe while watching our movie.  I would recommend it to anyone looking to get out of the house for a fair-priced, safe night out with family or friends.  Health protocols being intact will keep you safe the whole time you are there, allowing you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.