Many Santa Clara County Businesses Not Reopening Due to Red Tier Restrictions

NBC Universal, Inc.

While many South Bay businesses, especially restaurants, were thrilled to move into the less restrictive red tier this week, new rules still don’t offer enough freedom or incentive for many other businesses to open their doors. 

The Pruneyard Cinemas in Campbell, like many other businesses, are still trying to determine if they should reopen as the capacity restrictions still make it tough for the show to go on.

“Well, we were promoting ‘Trolls’ which was coming out in May, ‘SpongeBob’, ‘Antebellum’, all shows that we were promoting just going into shelter-in-place,” said Pruneyard Cinemas co-owner Dan Orloff. “And of course we shut down like every other movie theater.”

As of Wednesday, the theater is allowed to reopen, but only at 25% capacity, and that limit makes it tough to reopen the connected bar and restaurants.

But, what hurts the most: no refreshments for the theater -- they’ll now be donated. 

“We’re doing that with a lot of the other food in this pantry, and if we had fresh popcorn, we’d be donating that too,” said Orloff.

The restrictions hit gyms in different ways. A 24 Hour Fitness in San Jose opened, while a Planet Fitness will wait until Friday. 

Some museums reopened, but the popular The Tech Interactive says the restrictions make it hard to justify rehiring and training.

Instead, it’s using the time to work on the much anticipated Solve for Earth exhibit opening online.

“Because we’ve been closed, our full team has been able to get in there, socially distanced, and be able to work on our brand new exhibit and refurbish some of our others,” said Katrina Stevens of Tech Interactive.

A theater owner doesn’t have that option. 

“Well, for our restaurant-bar, I can get all the fresh ingredients I want, but for the movie theater, I can’t get fresh movies,” said Orloff.

So even though many businesses are grateful to reach the red tier, quite a few say they still need to move into the next tier before they can return to anything resembling “normal.”

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