Grand Theatre in Crookston reopens Friday

Jess Bengtson
Local artist Trey Everett a while back created a Grand Theatre sign/logo as part of the unveiling of the historic theater's upgraded marquee. Now, the artist who specializes in "calligrams" - in which words are prominently featured in the image - is adding a trio of drawings on the wall above the lobby. Using paint as well as pen, he's shown here working on a calligram of Yoda from Star Wars, with all of the featured words being things Yoda has said in the Star Wars movings. On the left will be a Scooby-Doo drawing, and on the right will be a drawing of Batman. Everett said he didn't know if all three would be finished by the Grand Theatre's reopening on June 19. He also acknowledged that finding Scooby-Doo words and phrases will be far more challenging than incorporating things Yoda and Batman have said.

    The Grand Theatre will be reopening on Friday, June 19 and you could say they’re just as excited as ever to welcome back their patrons. It’s been three months since they’ve had to close their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic and they’ll be opening at just 25 percent capacity. “We’ll take it,” theatre employee Bo Brorby told the Times.

    The Grand will have movie showings at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. daily, and will show older more “classic” movies like “Shrek” and “Smokey and the Bandit” while they wait for new Hollywood releases to come out in July.

    “We’ll be social distancing by making sure our lobby doesn’t get too congested, closing off rows, doing thorough cleaning between showings with misting solutions and then swapping closed rows so guests don’t have to sit in a row that someone just sat in the previous showing, and we’ll be limiting the number of guests on each side,” Brorby explained, also adding that Side 1 will be able to seat 60 people and Side 2 can seat 20 people at this time.

    “We’ve also been busy with a lot of projects the past few months,” he added later. “We’ve painted almost all of Side 1, walls, trim, took off the hand rails and sanded and stained them, used our professional carpet cleaning company to clean the seats, and gave the theatre some extra attention. We also have a special project in the lobby, too.”

    Brorby wants the public to know the theatre is also available for private rentals before and after normal showings, and they can bring their own movie or even show a presentation.

    “If you haven’t gotten together with family and friends in a while that would be a fun way to gather,” he said. “You can hook up a laptop and show a presentation, or kids could have a birthday party and hook up a PS4 (game station) for a couple hours.”

    Brorby said staff and owners at the Grand want to say thanks to the community for supporting them on the weekend by buying snacks, showing them they miss the theatre, and for sending all the messages of support.

    “Come in and enjoy a movie soon, and a little bit of entertainment.”

    Note: Brorby told the Times that Grand Theatre owner Brian Moore and his sister purchased the Moore theatre businesses from their father in January, including River Cinema in East Grand Forks. River Cinema is currently working on a bar and grill near their EGF theatre in the mall where the theatre is housed, and they’ll be opening soon.