After all these months of the pandemic, we're now seeing the big returns. Thursday marked the re-opening of a familiar name that's been part of our community more than 70 years.

From the scope of the rooms, to that aroma of popcorn, Bob Black has always loved the movies. 

"As an Air Force brat, you're always the new kid," said Bob. "I found the theater as the place that made me feel comfortable."

In 2011, he jumped at the chance to buy and renovate a true classic of the Lebanon square since 1949, the Capitol Theatre. 

"When you walk in, it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen," said Bob.

That beautiful place has been closed for three months as the pandemic took it's toll on all of downtown Lebanon. 

"It felt hollow, knowing there was no place people can go to be comfortable in COVID," said Bob.

Thursday, the long wait was over. 

With a screening of Dirty Dancing, the Capitol was back open to the public, though a few things are different. 

"We're taking everybody's temperature when they come in the front door," said Bob. "We require that they have masks. Our concession stands have sneeze guards. All our staff wear masks and gloves. There's multiple sanitizing hand stations. We've established a six foot distance in getting to the concession stand."

Then there's the theater itself, where play rehearsals are happening. 

"We've set the floor based on CDC guidelines," Bob said.

During the pandemic, the marquee of the Capitol kept changing, telling jokes, just a few words to make people smile. What's there today might be even better. It's titles, dates, showtimes, a return to something next to normal. 

That kid who always loved the movies hopes people will join him for the upcoming slate and spend a little time with Sandy and Danny, Freddy Krueger, and Clark Griswold. Popcorn's ready. 

For more on the Capitol Theatre and upcoming events, click here.

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