August 24, 2020 by Mona K. Pohl on behalf of the Hingham Downtown Association
It isn’t an overstatement to call the Loring Hall Cinema a prized fixture in downtown Hingham. Established as a meeting hall in 1852 and owned by the Scott family since 1964, the Loring catches the eye of everyone who is new to town simply for its charm. To locals, it’s a beloved, truly enjoyable venue to watch the most current, popular movies as well as award-winning, lesser known films. On cold winter nights and hot summer days, the Loring is the best place in town for both mind and body to escape.
The incredibly satisfying, familiar feeling of settling in to the Loring’s comfortable space and seats with their fresh popcorn, a favorite movie candy, even a coffee or tea, and watching a movie has seemed so far from our reach. Not for much longer! On August 28, the lights will go on at the Loring.
The first movie showing will be The Personal History of David Copperfield (based on the Dickens novel David Copperfield), directed by Armando Iannucci and starring Dev Patel. Like every other scenario during this time, logistics at the theatre will be a little different, but a night or afternoon out at the movies is real again.
While we were waiting for the Loring to reopen, David Scott, owner of Patriot Cinemas, was both running the wildly popular drive-in at the Ship Yard and busy working on building repairs and putting many safety measures in place. David explained, “The Loring is an old building and we took the opportunity to use this time to elevate safety and make improvements. There is a new roof, the heating system has been upgraded and the interior and exterior have been freshly painted. Everything looks great and new.”
There will be contactless ticket purchasing, sanitizer dispensers always available on the walls, the building will be disinfected by a new electrostatic sprayer that disinfects the theatre in ten minutes, doorknobs, countertops and railings will be wiped down constantly—a practice that was always in place-- and a new heating system will bring more fresh outside air into the building. There will be limited capacity and in between showings there will be an entry wait time so there isn’t a bottleneck of people simultaneously exiting and entering the building. People (or small groups watching together) will be seated at least six feet apart from others. “We want people to feel comfortable coming back, and we are committed to establishing a very safe environment for our guests and our staff,” added David.
With a little fun comes a little sacrifice these days, so the popcorn and candy will have to wait. In accordance with safety measures, the Loring can’t sell food right now because they don’t want people taking their face masks off. There are plenty of options for pre- and post-movie treats and dinner just steps away from the Loring and throughout downtown Hingham.
David is very invested in the Loring and downtown Hingham and he was very clear in stating, “We love being part of the community and the Loring is very special to all of us. There aren’t many single screen theatres in the country. We are lucky to have it and we have no plans to go anywhere.”
In addition to welcoming longtime and new guests, David is excited to reunite with the dedicated staff at the Loring. “The plan is to have the same amount of staff return to the Loring to do all the usual work, as well as assist seating people and ensuring safety measures are maintained and followed. We are looking forward to having them all back!”
As part of an effort initiated by the National Association of Theatre Owners, David is asking everyone to visit saveyourcinema.com to add their name and address in support of a letter requesting stimulus help for movie theatres that is being sent to senators and congressmen. He mentioned, “a quarter of a million people have already added their names for support.”
For movie listings, show times and other information about the Loring Hall Cinema visit: www.patriotcinemas.com.