The Emagine Geneva Lakes movie theater in Lake Geneva re-opened Monday with enhanced cleaning and safety protocols in place to protect patrons and staff. The movie theater is showing recent hits and classics for $5 admission. (Submitted photo)

Emagine Geneva Lakes re-opened theater this week

By Tracy Ouellette

Staff Writer

Emagine Entertainment Inc. re-opened the Emagine Geneva Lakes movie theater June 1.

Theaters in the area, and across the country, have been closed since the middle of March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With Wisconsin’s Stay-at-Home order expired, many local businesses are re-opening and Emagine Geneva Lakes is the first local movie theater to open its doors.

“We spent a lot of time working on a plan to make sure our teammates and guests were safe,” Paul Glantz, co-founder and chairman of Emagine Entertainment, said Monday. “In fact, I was the author of a 27-page document we submitted to the governor of Michigan on how to reopen.”

According to a press release, during the closure Emagine Geneva Lakes underwent a thorough cleaning and disinfecting program and instituted a variety of protocols to ensure the cleanliness of the venue for employees and guests, as well as new social distancing procedures.

“Emagine has taken great measures to ensure a clean and comfortable movie-going experience for its guests. The health of its employees and its moviegoers is a top priority for Emagine, and accordingly, that goal was the underpinning in developing its guidelines. Emagine looks forward to again serving its guests and welcoming back its teammates,” the release stated.

Glantz said they chose a June 1 date to re-open because they needed to put their new health and safety measures in place and train staff on the new procedures.

“We had to reassemble our workforce and get all our teammates trained,” Glantz said. “We also had to put up social-distancing stickers, create one-way traffic patterns and redo the ticketing. It was a process.”

Guests returning to Emagine Geneva Lakes will notice strategic measures taken in accordance of Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization and local authority health department guidelines, Glantz said.

“We’re creating two empty seats next to every group or party and only using every other row, so we’ve got 7 feet of spacing front to back and 6 to 7 feet of space left to right,” Glantz said.

Prior to opening, Emagine did an overall deep cleaning of the entire building with CDC approved products. The cleaning regimen is now common practice and performed continuously at all Emagine locations, according to the press release.

Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance through Emagine’s website or app, which will allow them to select seats and provide contactless ticketing.

Along with the socially distanced seating, Glantz said the facility’s ventilation system continuously brings in fresh air to the theaters.

“What most people don’t know about our space is that there is a requirement for movie theater auditoriums to bring in more fresh air than other places,” he said. “Our rooftop units continuously bring in 70% fresh air to be mixed with the existing conditioned air. These units are all new, too; they’re less than two years old.”

What’s different

Before entering the theater, there are signs asking guests to refrain from entering if they have experienced any symptoms of COVID-19. Emagine is also requesting that all guests respect social-distancing guidelines and encourages the wearing of masks by guests while in the lobby and restrooms.

Emagine will provide masks for any guests, upon request. Emagine Geneva Lakes’ lobby will have directional signage and graphics to remind guests to remain 6 feet apart at the box-office, concession stand, self-serve soda station, restrooms and queuing lines.

Hand sanitizer stations will be available at numerous locations throughout the building. Restrooms will have restrictions on capacity and have signage to remind guests to socially distance while inside.

“The comfort and safety of our patrons are at the foremost of our minds,” Glantz said. “We want them to be able to come and enjoy a bit of escapism and feel comfortable doing it.”

In addition to arranging furniture to respect social distancing in the lobbies, Emagine has also adjusted the auditorium seating to allow for restricted capacities that are mindful of social-distancing guidelines. As guests enter the auditoriums to find their seats, there will be one staircase to go up and another staircase for those leaving the auditorium, and one-way aisle traffic will be encouraged.

The theater will have an increased time frame between all showings to allow for thorough and intense cleaning between all show times. Employees will also clean and disinfect high-traffic areas more frequently and exit doors will be propped open to reduce common touch points.

Emagine has also adopted a return-to work-action plan with health and cleanliness protocols for employees that will include wearing masks and gloves while working. All employees will be required to complete and sign a COVID-19 Daily Screening Form answering questions regarding possible exposure to COVID-19.

On screen

Emagine is showing a new lineup of recent hits and classic movies each week. Each weekly lineup will feature titles for everyone in the family to enjoy. Admission to all movies will be at a special $5 rate.

“These are predominately family films,” Glantz said. “They are of relatively recent vintage, but have been out for a while. Our supply chain doesn’t begin in earnest until the middle of July, so we’ll be showing these for about the next six weeks.”

The concession stands are fully operational so guests will be able to enjoy the theater’s complete offerings of popcorn, candy, fountain drinks, craft beers, cocktails and wine, as well as the enhanced concession items including pizza, quesadillas, chicken tenders, pretzel bites, French fries, hot dogs and more.

Emagine Geneva Lakes is at 2565 Highway 120, Lake Geneva. Hours of operation are 2 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday.

For more information and a full list of upcoming movies, visit and find Emagine Geneva Lakes under “Our Theatres.”


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