Movie theaters keep busy during the holidays

MILWAUKEE — Movie theaters are usually a busy place during the holidays. Watching movies during winter break is a tradition for many people.

Kristen Heller of the Oriental Theater said she has noticed large crowds since concerns about the pandemic eased.

“It’s day and night,” Heller said. “There was a spike at this time last year. It was just after Christmas and people weren’t going out.”

She said she expects sales this month to be about 40% higher than last holiday season.

“People have time to rest during the holidays,” Heller said. “They’re looking for some place they can go, some place they can have fun. They’re generally having a good time at home and they want to get out and about.”

Moviegoer Sarah Walker said she felt nostalgic walking into the Oriental Theater.

“I used to live in Milwaukee,” Walker said. “I’ve seen a lot of movies here over the years. I’m back in Milwaukee for vacation, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to get back to a theater that I hold in high regard.”

Heller says it’s not just watching the movie, but the memories that come with it.

“You come home to dinner and talk about it more,” Heller said. “We see it as a community experience where you can argue a little bit over the popcorn and share stories after the fact, and that’s what we love.”