MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) - The Cosmo Theatre doesn’t plan to open its doors to customers for at least another couple of weeks, but that’s not stopping them from giving movie-lovers the chance to enjoy some of their favorite movie theater traditions from home.
Fresh popcorn at The Cosmo in Merrill. (WSAW photo 5/15/20)
“We offer our whole menu online. They can order ahead of time and they put the time that they’re going to show up and what kind of car they have,” explained Cosmo co-owner Trevor Dzwonkowski. “All they need to do is pull up front and we bring out their food, their popcorn and anything else and they’re off and on their way.”
Curbside at the Cosmo is available every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m., with customers able to place an order online and then pick up their treats to enjoy at home.
“People had been asking me to do curbside and it’s like, it’s really not going to be worth it,” thought co-owner Shelby Dzwonkowski. “Smelling the fresh popcorn, putting the butter on. You just realize that’s what people want. They don’t want it out of a plastic bag. If you’re forced to stream a movie, which we strongly advise against, at least you should be able to do it with Cosmo popcorn.”
The Dzwonkowski’s say the support from the community has been great, with people coming from all over to get a taste of that movie theater delicacy.
“I miss not being able to come here for the movies,” said Wausau’s Justin Kuester. “It’s the closest thing you can get.”
According to Shelby, the decision to remain closed after the Safer at Home order was deemed unlawful was difficult, but one that she and her husband felt was necessary.
“This is probably the first time in 100 years that The Cosmo’s been closed for two-months,” Shelby said. “It’s a big decision but everybody’s got to do what’s right for them. Bottom line, our kids work here, our employees that work here, some of them have been here 20 years. They are our family. It’s not worth our customers getting sick. What that would do to the future of our business once this does pass?”
Shelby added that she doesn’t blame other businesses for opening. In fact, another business owned by the family in Merrill is back up and running. As Trevor explains, things can be more challenging in a movie theater setting.
“You try to limit the amount of people that come in, but, there’s always going to be somebody that sits next to somebody else that shouldn’t be,” Trevor said. “I think it’s certainly a fine line that it’s hard to keep everybody happy in that situation here.”
As they continue to evaluate the COVID-19 situation, they plan to keep offering the curbside pickup.
“When people respond the way they have or say how much they miss coming to the movies or going to the movies here, it means a lot,” added Trevor. “It makes you feel good that you’re doing something good for the community. It’s always nice for a small community to have a movie theater.”