PASO ROBLES — Park Cinemas reopened its doors on Friday, Oct. 9, and is showing five movies on the big screens after being closed due to guidelines put in place to stem the spread of COVID-19.

John Roush and his adult daughters Catherine and Jennifer recently started a GoFundMe campaign to help save the iconic Downtown Paso Robles movie theater that has been for all but a couple of days of the past six months. The campaign has raised nearly $18,000 since being started Sept. 7.

Roush and his wife built Park Cinemas from the ground up. It opened in December of 1997. Catherine and Jennifer are now its co-owners and John remains on as CEO and mentor.

San Luis Obispo County moved into the red Tier 2 of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy in late September and in doing so, more businesses such as movie theaters could reopen with modifications.


Indoor movie theaters in the county can reopen, with auditoriums at 25 percent capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer.

Park Cinemas is following the CinemaSafe COVID-19 guidelines, which also adheres to all CDC, state and county regulations. Every other row of seats is blocked off and seating is limited in the open rows. 

Plexiglass is placed along the concession stand. 

Masks are required for staff and for people coming to watch a movie. A supply of masks is available for moviegoers who do not have one. After each film, seats are sanitized. 

Park Cinemas has an app where people can view movie times and purchase tickets. 

Before reopening, Park Cinemas posted a thank you to the community on its Facebook page.

“We want to thank you — everyone in our community and who has been a part of our family here at Park Cinemas! Your kindness and support with helping during this time has been incredible and more than we imagined. The kind messages of support and sweet wishes from all of you have been overwhelming to say the least. As we continue to write you back we want you to know it is seen and appreciated more than you can imagine. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and hope that everyone will continue to share our post in hopes of getting even closer to our goal! The times though shine a light with being able to reopen on OCT 9th 2020 we still have obligations to cover from these six months of being closed! We thank you again for your support.”

For more information, visit Park Cinemas online at Park Cinemas is located at 1100 Park St. in Paso Robles.