COVID Response

Reopening Protocols

We have remained committed to our mission to celebrate film at The Brattle during our COVID closure. Welcoming you back to the cinema brings us joy and we have missed you. Our reopening decisions were made with the safety of our staff and patrons as our utmost priority. We are approaching our reopening effort slowly and cautiously – focusing on safety rather than the idea that we have to reopen as soon as possible.


The Brattle has prepared these protocols in preparation for welcoming you back to our cinema following guidelines and timelines established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Cambridge—in order to ensure the health and safety of all staff and visitors. All preparations have considered the latest guidance from health and safety officials at the local, state, and federal levels and have incorporated ideas from other cinemas and nonprofits that have reopened in advance of The Brattle.

These protocols will continue to be amended and updated in accordance with new guidelines, internal findings, and information from the industry.

Visitor Safety

  • Refund policy adjusted to accommodate need to change ticket due to purchaser’s COVID exposure
  • Online ticketing with reserved seating and contactless check-in
  • Directed flow, clearly marked throughout the space, one way entry and exit
  • Pre-ordered concession sales only with contactless pickup
  • Theater capacity set to 20 individuals
  • One party entry at a time to the lobby for check in
  • Ticket holder line-up outside the lobby with clearly marked physical distancing
  • Face coverings are required for all staff and visitors while in The Brattle
  • Hand sanitizer and tissues available in the cinema, lobby, and bathrooms
  • Tissues available near single-use high-touch points
  • Enhanced, frequent, and logged cleaning of high-touch surfaces, with full cleaning of cinema nightly
  • Bathrooms are single use
  • Clear signage to assist with traffic flow in the cinema
  • Entrance and exit stairways are one way
  • Theater exiting done row-by-row, supervised by the Brattle staff

Staff Safety

  • All staff provided with training on new policies, hygiene practices, and physical distancing
  • Staff required to submit to a health assessment at the beginning of each shift including a temperature check
  • Staff provided with personal protective equipment and required to wear face coverings while in The Brattle
  • Access to disinfectant for any shared equipment, in addition to enhanced cleaning throughout the shift
  • Plexi shield installed at concessions
  • No in person box office sales to maintain 6 ft physical distance between staff members

Changes to The Brattle

  • Widespread signage outlining Brattle protocols throughout the space
  • All bathrooms are single occupancy
  • Cinema seating modified to support physical distancing
  • Hospital grade disinfection of all soft surfaces in The Brattle (repeated every 4-6 months as recommended)
  • HVAC assessment conducted by a NETR technician, confirming high quality fresh air flow in our cinema space (thank you, drafty, historic building!)
  • Upgrade to MERV13 filters for entire HVAC system prior to opening
  • Cleaning and disinfection of HVAC ducting prior to opening
  • Doors propped open wherever possible
  • Installation of touchless soap and sanitizer dispensers

Reopening Timeline

We have a multi-week reopening plan to test the waters of how safe we feel interacting with the public and the many safety protocols that we have put in place. Once we, and our entire staff, feel that it is safe to do so, we will then welcome back the general public to attend films at The Brattle.

We will continue to monitor national and regional disease dynamics as well as the evolving local, state, and national policies. We anticipate that there will be future disruptions and are prepared to pivot our operations as needed to continue to preserve the safety of our staff and community.

Phase 1: Pop-up curbside concessions days, keep an eye on our social media for opportunities

Phase 2: Private movie party rentals so that you can enjoy watching a film at The Brattle with your trusted friends, family, or “germ pod”

Phase 3: Member and donor-only screenings

Phase 4: Open to the public

What to Expect on Your Visit:

  • All staff and visitors must wear face coverings while inside the building in accordance with state and local regulations.
  • Please maintain physical distancing of 6 ft or more between yourself and fellow visitors and staff at all times. There will be space markers outside the cinema and throughout the space to assist you.
  • Frequent hand washing is encouraged. Hand sanitizing stations have been installed throughout The Brattle as well as touchless soap dispensers in our rest rooms.
  • We have a robust cleaning protocol for The Brattle, especially high-touch areas. All Brattle staff have completed training in physical distancing and hygiene protocols.
  • All tickets and concessions sales are available ONLINE ONLY. In order to maintain a low-contact space, you must purchase all tickets and concessions in advance.
  • Every visitor will have a reserved seat. During the ticket purchasing process you will select your seat for the screening. Seating has been organized so that no visitors need to climb over anyone to get to their seats and to maintain safe physical distance between parties.
  • Parties are primarily limited to no more than two people sitting together though there are limited three and four person sections. 
  • No late admission will be allowed. Anyone arriving 5 minutes or more after showtime will not be admitted. We will provide you with a refund if this happens.

By purchasing a ticket to The Brattle, you agree to comply with all Brattle policies, guidelines, and rules, including but not limited to wearing a face covering and adhering to 6 ft physical distancing guidelines.