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Marcus closes its theaters; parking spaces designated for restaurants
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Marcus closes its theaters; parking spaces designated for restaurants


Most downtown bars and restaurants, like others across the city, have followed guidelines to limit crowds by either closing altogether or going to delivery and carryout only.

In an effort to help those restaurants, bars and other retailers who now have to rely on those pickup and delivery orders, the Downtown Lincoln Association is posting signs designating parking spaces near businesses as reserved for curbside pickup.

Todd Odgen, president and CEO of the Downtown Lincoln Association, said he had about 30 requests by Tuesday afternoon. Temporary signs already posted will be replaced by more-permanent ones beginning Wednesday.

Layla Klipic, a shift leader at Hurts Donuts at Ninth and P streets, said the business, which closed its dining room Monday night, has seen a fair amount of orders through the Door Dash delivery service.

Hurts Donuts is just one of many businesses dealing with the new reality caused by the coronavirus.

After announcing Monday that it would limit seating in its theaters by 50% to increase social distancing, Marcus Theaters has now closed them.

On the websites for the Lincoln Grand Cinema and other Marcus locations in Lincoln, a banner reads "Theater temporarily closed."

"Although movie theaters can be a great escape during stressful times, we’ll be pausing operations temporarily," the post reads. "Please check back for updates."

"We have complied with yesterday’s directive in the state of Nebraska (limiting gatherings to 10 people or less), which is why Lincoln theaters are now closed," said Mari Randa, a Marcus spokeswoman.

Marcus announced later Tuesday that it was closing all of its theaters nationwide at the end of the day.

The Ross Media Arts Center also is closed. Movies slated to play there will be rescheduled when the University of Nebraska-Lincoln film theater reopens, according to an email sent by director Danny Lee Ladely.

The number of local restaurants that have announced either total closures or closures of their dining rooms continues to grow and includes Single Barrel, Toast and Lead Belly.

Craft Axe Throwing, which has locations in Lincoln and Omaha, said Tuesday that it was closing for 15 days. Chuck E. Cheese also said it will close its dining rooms until at least the end of the month. Amigos announced dining rooms at all locations will close Thursday.

While Gateway Mall said Monday that it plans to remain open with reduced hours, some of its tenants are choosing to close.

Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret and Pink announced Tuesday that they will close all stores temporarily. The stores are owned by L Brands. All three stores also have locations at SouthPointe Pavilions.

The Buckle, which has stores at both Gateway and SouthPointe, also announced it was closing stores through the end of the month. The Kearney-based retailer said it would continue to pay all its employees.

Another tenant at Gateway, American Eagle, said it will close all stores through at least March 27. Granite City said it was closing its dining room and reducing hours to 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Lululemon, which opened its first permanent Lincoln store last fall, also said it will close all its stores until March 27.

Several stores that have locations at Nebraska Crossing Outlets in Gretna also announced closings, including Nike, Under Armour and Ralph Lauren.

It's not just retail businesses that are trying to limit contact. First National Bank of Omaha said on its website that starting Tuesday all in-person customer contact will be by appointment only. The bank encouraged people to do all normal banking activity through either ATMs, drive-thru windows or online.

West Gate Bank announced that the lobbies at all its bank branches in Lincoln and Omaha will be closed indefinitely starting Thursday. Its drive-thru windows will continue to be open normal hours. Union Bank & Trust will close lobbies at locations with drive-thru service.

Also Tuesday, the Nebraska Dental Association recommended that dentist offices statewide cancel all non-emergency appointments until at least April 1.

Runza, Noodles close dining rooms, following Chick-fil-A, others

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Business reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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