Carlsbad movie theater to reopen amid COVID-19 recovery

The La Cueva 6 movie theater is pictured, April 2, 2021 in on Pierce Street in Carlsbad. Allen Theaters announced it was planning to reopen several theaters in New Mexico as the state recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The projectors at Carlsbad’s lone movie theater could soon whir back to life as the La Cueva 6 planned to reopen this month in response to the community’s recovery from COVID-19.

Owner of the La Cueva Allen Theaters closed all its New Mexico locations in March 2020 when coronavirus first struck the state and movie theaters were ordered to close as restrictions were placed on high-contact businesses and public gatherings.

The State of New Mexico then implemented a tiered system of restrictions, assigning counties color-based designations based on positive cases of the virus per capita and the rate of infections reported.

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In southeast New Mexico, Eddy, Lincoln and Chaves counties recently improved to below both the 8 cases per capita and 5 percent positivity rate benchmarks to attain green status, meaning Allen Theaters locations in those counties could open at a limited capacity.

Otero remained in yellow as of Friday, further delaying its theater’s opening.

But Allen Theaters hoped to exercise caution in reopening by waiting until counties achieve a turquoise rating by remaining in green for two straight weeks.

News:Eddy County goes green on updated New Mexico COVID-19 map

New Mexico's latest update COVID-19 county risk map, March 24, 2021

Co-owner Russel Allen confirmed the Carlsbad and Ruidoso theaters were planned to reopen on April 23, granted they maintain their COVID-19 status, while the Roswell theater was slated for a reopening on April 16.

No dates were set for Las Cruces and Alamogordo theaters as of Friday, Allen said, as Otero and Dona Ana counties were still in yellow.

For the first few weeks of reopening, theaters will show movies only on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays.