Golden Cinemas providing free popcorn to first responders

Published 6:20 pm Monday, May 4, 2020

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Washington’s lone movie theater, Golden Ticket Cinemas, has been providing first responders with free popcorn during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the movie theater was forced to close on March 19, they reopened the next day to continue selling popcorn, candy and drinks. Golden Ticket Cinemas General Manager Jeni Maldonado said she was impressed with the community’s support in purchasing movie concessions despite theaters being closed.

“We know that our health care personnel, specifically, as well as the police departments, fire departments and stuff like that are providing care for individuals are the first line of defense against all the craziness going on right now. So we just wanted to be able to provide a little bit for them,” Maldonado said. “We’ve had so many people come out and support us during this time. It’s been tremendous. So, we needed to find a way to help support others, as well. Everybody that has stopped by has been so kind. They all just want us to stay here after this is all over, because there was a short time that there wasn’t a movie theater in this town. People don’t want to have that problem again. It’s definitely helped us pay some bills while we’re not allowed to play movies or anything like that.”

Maldonado and another general manager of a Golden Ticket Cinema in Montana, pushed for ideas on how to give back to first responders, ultimately deciding to provide them with a free small popcorn on Fridays when they show their work ID.

“We’ve had a few come out and take advantage of it. I just think one of the biggest things is letting people know that we’re having this,” Maldonado said. “Right now, our biggest place to market is pretty much just Facebook. Not everybody has Facebook and not everybody follows us, so we’re kind of relying (on the community) to help us share the news.”

This Friday will be just the third week that Golden Ticket Cinemas will be providing the free popcorn.

There is no set date for the theater to reopen yet, but Maldonado said once they get the OK from officials, they will be able to reopen relatively quickly.