Maya Cinemas is now open, students have mixed feelings

Maya Cinema currently has a mix of new and classic movies currently showing. (Courtesy Maya Cinema website)

Maya Cinemas in Fresno at Campus Pointe, along with other theaters in town, is now open to the public. 

The decision to reopen theaters came when the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) moved Fresno County, previously in purple tier, into the red tier on Tuesday, Sept. 29. 

The tier system, according to the CDPH, includes four sections: purple (wide spread), red (substantial), orange (moderate) and yellow (minimal). 

Movie theaters are one of the many establishments that are now open to the public. Others include gyms, restaurants, malls and more.

Limitations will apply, with Maya allowing only 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever one is reached first. This hasn’t stopped some Fresno State students from enjoying the latest films.

Cameron Kaufman, a horror film enthusiast and electrical engineering major at Fresno State, is excited to finally get back to the movies. 

“I’m excited because going to the movies was something that was an easy plan to establish and base an evening off of,” Kaufman said. 

Although he is concerned for his safety, Kaufman believes using safety protocols and social distancing is the best way to go. 

“Of course, I’m concerned about my safety and that of those around me,” Kaufman said. “The best thing we can do is just listen to lawmakers, wear masks and continue to social distance. I mean what more can we do really?” 

Kiara Hill, Fresno State biology graduate, is willing to give theaters another try but only if health policies are being enforced. 

“I would go as long as the business enforces its policies to keep the public safe,” Hill said. “Having a policy is one thing, but enforcing it is another.” 

Kaitlyn Wilkerson, an animal science major at Fresno State, feels differently about returning to the movies. 

“I’m not ready to go back because we are still obviously in a pandemic and still getting new cases every day,” Wilkerson said. 

Wilkerson has family members with “suppressed immune systems” and believes avoiding as much contact as possible with others is best for her situation.

“I’ve seen a lot of people who think [the pandemic] is a joke. So it’s easier for me to stay away from them to avoid spreading it to my loved ones, instead of relying on everyone else to cooperate,” Wilkerson said. 

Wilkerson isn’t sure when she plans to return to theaters, but said she is putting her family’s health first and is not willing to take the risk. 

The Fresno State University Student Union (USU) normally offers discounted movie ticket prices to students, however, no discounts are being offered at this time, according to the USU. 

Fresno State students are not entirely out of luck. According to Mee Thao, assistant manager with Maya Cinemas at Campus Pointe, student discounts are being offered to those with student IDs.   

For the complete list of businesses now open to the public, click here.

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