20210604-LOC-Peterborough Community Theatre

The Peterborough Community Theatre’s marquee thanks people for their support

during the COVID-19 pandemic in this file photo from last year.

PETERBOROUGH — The Peterborough Community Theatre has announced plans to reopen for public screenings July 2.

The School Street movie theater has offered only private screenings since last summer to help curb the spread of COVID-19. Under that system, groups have been allowed to rent its single screen for a movie or video game.

In a newsletter last weekend, however, co-owner Vanessa Amsbury-Bonilla said the business is excited to “get back to what we really enjoy doing, bringing you movies made to inspire, educate and entertain.”

Amsbury-Bonilla credited supporters of the 106-year-old theater, which is billed as the oldest in New Hampshire, for keeping it financially viable during the pandemic. That included renting the screen for private showings and also contributing to a fundraising campaign that raised $14,000 last year, among other philanthropic efforts, she said.

“[This] little Gem is proud to be holding strong because of all your community support,” she wrote.

Private parties will be able to continue renting the theater at select times, given the success of that system during the pandemic, according to the newsletter.

In the letter, Amsbury-Bonilla asked recipients to help shape the theater’s new safety policies by answering a series of COVID-related questions. Those include asking whether they would be comfortable in a public space, as well as questions about mask-wearing and social distancing.

The theater has installed new air purifiers and will encourage mask-wearing for people who aren’t vaccinated, according to Amsbury-Bonilla. Based on the initial survey response, she said it will also open one day a week for only people who are fully inoculated and will require them to show proof of vaccination.

“So many people want to know that everybody in there with them is also vaccinated,” she said. “Because that way they can actually relax.”

Caleb Symons can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1420, or csymons@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @CalebSymonsKS.