Elizabeth City film fans will have to wait even longer to watch a movie in the new Albemarle Movies 8 theater.
The new eight-screen complex was slated to open this Friday. However, because of Gov. Roy Cooper’s decision to pause Phase 2 of the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the theater’s opening date is now unclear.
A spokeswoman for RC Theatres said Tuesday that Albemarle Movies 8 will not open on Friday. It was unclear when it would open, she said. However, the company posted at rctheatres.com that a new opening date would be announced soon.
RC Theatres is based in Reisterstown, Maryland, and operates a total of 13 theater locations, including the Kill Devil Hills Movies 10 in Kill Devil Hills.
RC Theatres has set Friday, July 31, as the new opening date for all of its current locations, its website states.
The company emphasized that date could change based on Cooper’s orders for reopening facilities.
North Carolina was expected to enter Phase 3 of Cooper’s reopening plan around June 26. Movie theaters were expected to be allowed to reopen under Phase 3 of the plan.
Citing the state’s rising number of cases of COVID-19, however, Cooper announced June 24 that he would not move the state from Phase 2 to Phase 3 until July 17 at the earliest. As a result, outside gatherings continue to be limited to 25 people and businesses like gyms, bars, movie theaters and amusement parks must remain closed.
Another factor that could affect the Albemarle Movies 8’s opening date is when movie studios will start releasing new films.
The summer’s first major release is director Christopher Nolan’s spy thriller “Tenet,” originally set to open nationwide July 17. That release date was then pushed to July 31. According to the entertainment website Deadline.com, the new release date for “Tenet” is now Wednesday, Aug. 12.
Albemarle Movies 8 is located off McPherson Circle in the City Center West business park of Halstead Boulevard Extended.
On Tuesday, construction appeared still underway on the new facility, which boasts “luxury recliners” as one of its amenities. Local businessman Arthur McPherson of McMor Development is one of three partners in Albemarle Theaters. He said in mid-June that construction was expected to be complete by the end of June.