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ALTON, Ill. – A new movie theater is opening in Alton, Illinois Wednesday. The town hasn’t had a movie theater since 1997, 24 years ago.

The Post-Dispatch was there Tuesday for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at NCG Cinema Alton at the Alton Square Mall. It has eight screens and plush reclining seats.

The chain is based in Michigan and owns 26 theaters. The industry was devastated by the pandemic. The company decided to continue building the theater.

For now, owners will limit capacity to 50 percent or no more than 50 people at a time. Everyone has to wear a face mask, and they have to keep their social distance. Workers will also sanitize high-touch areas every 30-minutes, and the concession stand will be mostly contact-free.