Safety Standards & Protocols

The Theater is focused on safeguarding patrons and employees with superior indoor air quality, social distancing, vigorous cleaning protocols and strict adherence to official orders. These actions are based on best practices employed by cultural venues nationwide. Many of the Theater’s measures exceed safety guidelines: a new air purification and ionization system for superior air quality, virucides sprayed between screenings, and other health and safety protocols. If government recommendations change, the Theater will comply without hesitation, so please stay tuned for ongoing updates.

Given occupancy restrictions, patrons are encouraged to purchase tickets online in advance (with reduced handling fees) or to contact the Theater for a private screening at or 412.259.8542.

    • If you are ill or have been recently exposed to COVID-19, please stay home. We’ll be here when you feel better!
    • All must wear masks in the lobby, restrooms and common areas—except for children under 2 years of age. Mask must cover nose and mouth.
    • Masks are required inside the Screening Rooms unless you are eating or drinking. 
    • Admission to the building will start only 30 minutes in advance of each screening; earlier arrivals cannot be accommodated.  
    • Maintain a respectful social distance of 6 feet apart.
    • Refrain from congregating in the lobby and hallways before or after screenings. 
    • Comply with staggered seating. Spacing in the Screening Rooms may prevent large groups from sitting together.


As a newly constructed facility (2017), the Theater’s state-of-the-art HVAC technology continuously intakes fresh outside air, distributing it throughout the entire building:

    • Regardless of occupancy in the Screening Rooms, the air is completely turned over 5 times per hour. This air exchange rate exceeds the recommended minimum by 40%.
    • All air to the Screening Rooms is continuously filtered and purified (more on the new purifying system below).
    • Air moves in vertical columns (instead of sweeping horizontally across rows), reducing potential spread of viruses and delivering cleaner, healthier air.

A newly installed electrostatic dual ionization air purifier system services both Screening Rooms:

    • Electrostatic dual ionization takes place in the ductwork, treating 100% of the air supply before it ever reaches the Screening Rooms.
    • 99.4% of COVID-19 (plus other viruses such as MERS, SARS and common cold), bacteria and molds are killed without producing harmful byproducts.
    • Allergens, particles, pollutants, dust, odors, smoke and static electricity are minimized.
    • Proven technology is provided by Nu-Calgon, a US manufacturer trusted by HVAC professionals.

Existing high-level filters have been upgraded: 

    • MERV-11 filters, surpassing MERV-7 commercial standards, serve the entire building.
    • This filtration is effective against viruses, bacteria and mold as small as 1 micron, compared with the 3-micron protection of MERV-7.

The Tull Family Theater works with J.A. Sauer Company, a regional business with nearly 40 years of experience in fabricating, installing and maintaining HVAC systems.


Reduced Occupancy

    • Pennsylvania has reduced occupancy for cinemas, so our spacious Screening Rooms allow for significant social distancing.
    • 30 minutes before each show, patrons will be admitted directly to Screening Rooms.
      • Earlier arrivals will not be accommodated to prevent crowding in the lobby.
    • Seating between different groups is separated by both rows and seats.
      • Allow at least two empty seats between groups in the same row.
      • Staggered seating adds space between rows in the Large Screening Room.
      • Unavailable seats are roped off.
      • Large groups might not be able to sit all together.
    • Guests are asked to exit screening rooms as soon as film credits have ended.
    • Restroom occupancy is limited, according to signage.
      • Socially distanced lines form outside the doors.

Signage Guidance

    • Floor decals guide spacing in the lobby at a respectful 6 feet.
    • Signage directs patrons to proper lines and into Screening Rooms.

Fewer Person-to-Person Interactions

    • Paperless admission, including online purchases with reduced handling fees, makes the Theater as “contact-free” as possible.
    • Plexiglass shields installed at the concessions area protect both patrons and employees.
    • Patrons are not permitted to congregate in the hallway and lobby.
    • Staggered showtimes ease potential high-traffic flows of patrons arriving and leaving the Theater at the same time.
    • Separate exterior doors are designated as exit-only and entrance-only.

Protective Personal Gear

    • Guests ages 2 or older are required to wear a mask covering both nose and mouth in the lobby/common areas.
    • In the Screening Rooms, masks are required unless eating or drinking.
    • Employees are required to wear masks and/or other protective personal gear at all times.


Implementation of electrostatic sprayers

    • Similar to the Theater’s air purification system, these sprayers have a smart-tech design using dual ionization to attract droplets on surfaces and kill germs.
    • The power of ionization reduces the amount of chemicals needed to achieve maximum efficiency. 
    • This sprayer system, used in schools and on airplanes, reduces the amount of time needed to destroy viruses and pathogens.

Use of CDC-recommended virucides and disinfectants throughout building

    • The Theater uses the most highly recommended products for each particular area.
    • Special attention is given to high-touch areas such as handles, handrails, door knobs, head and arm rests, food service areas.
    • More time between screenings allows for extensive disinfecting.
    • Installation of hand sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas promote patron and employee use.
    • Disinfecting materials are available for patron use in Screening Rooms.
    • Additional restroom sanitizing is provided mid-screening, as well as after each show.
    • Assistive technology devices receive ongoing disinfecting.
    • Vacuum cleaners are upgraded with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters.
      • HEPA traps at least 99.97 percent of microscopic particles, including COVID-19.


Employees are:

    • Highly trained in the new protocols, with managers on duty adding an extra layer of diligence.
    • Screened for well-being daily, including temperature checks at the beginning of their shifts.
    • Provided with masks, shields, gloves and other protective gear as needed.
    • Scheduled for mandatory hourly handwashing breaks.


Questions or suggestions about any procedures can be directed to the Theater manager on duty or emailed to The Theater expects procedures to adjust to ever-evolving circumstances and will continue to seek and rely on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials.