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Only Movie Theater on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation Finally Reopens


The only movie theater on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation will open Friday for the first time in over a year.   

The Nunpa Theatre closed its doors last March, only opening its concession stand a few times a week to sell food and drinks.   

Angel Reddest is the owner and manger. She says this past year was tough but the community is excited for the reopening.  

“They've been asking me -- ‘When are you going to open? When is it going to open?’ -- for a long time, but we didn't feel safe to open until the vaccines came out, but now we feel a little more secure. And we're ready to go.”  

The theater is in Kyle. Reddest also owns a convenience store in Kyle which she did NOT close last year. She’s grateful she had another source of income.  

“Otherwise we would be in dire straights. If we didn't have that we would have been very, very hurt.”  

The Oglala Sioux Tribe took extraordinary steps to protect tribal members from COVID-19. Tribal officials erected checkpoints to restrict non-residents from entering tribal lands. Governor Kristi Noem opposed the checkpoints. Noem also refused to order statewide business closures or mask mandates.   

About that, Reddest says...  

“I’m still angry. For a while it was pretty nice because most of the stores in Rapid City were requiring a mask, but then it's getting more lenient as the weeks go on. And it's like people don't even care anymore.”  

But for now, Reddest says she’s happy to get back to showing movies and interacting with the community. Nunpa Theatre will require masks and sell only 35 percent of its seats to encourage social-distancing.