When the Oriental Theatre reopens on Friday, August 20, attendees will be “expected” to be fully vaccinated or to have received a negative COVID-19 test within the past 72 hours. But that honor system approach won’t last long.

“We expect that all attendees are fully vaccinated,” Milwaukee Film, the operator of the historic East Side theater, says in a press release. “If you are not fully vaccinated, we expect that you have received a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours prior to attending. Initially, we are on the honor system due to operational constraints, but in the next few weeks, we will implement checking of vaccination cards or negative tests.

“We request that all attendees wear masks unless actively eating or drinking, regardless of vaccination status,” Milwaukee Film continues.

All Milwaukee Film staff will fully vaccinated and masked. Ticket availability will be limited to promote social distancing.

The first film to screen at the reopened theater will be 2021 Sundance Film Festival Fiction Film Top Prize Winner CODA. Milwaukee Film describes it as “the emotional, crowd-pleasing story of seventeen-year-old Ruby (Emilia Jones) who is the sole hearing member of a deaf family—a CODA, child of deaf adults. When Ruby joins her high school’s choir club, she discovers a gift for singing and is torn between obligations she feels to her family and the pursuit of her own dreams.”

Cryptozoo and Ailey will round out the welcome-back films. The Cultures & Communities Festival is set for September 6-12.

Tickets for the films and fest are on sale NOW. Find out more about the Oriental’s new COVID protocols HERE.

The Oriental has been closed for the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic, but has used that time off for extensive renovations and restorations. Here, once again, are some pictures of that renovated/restored Oriental:

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