By Andrea Nakano

BERKELEY (KPIX) — With pandemic restrictions starting to be peeled back, people in the East Bay headed out Friday night to enjoy a night at the movies as Regal Cinema reopened theaters in Berkeley and Oakland.

Shelby Ferran and her family were the first ones at the ticket booth to see “Raya” at the Regal theater in Berkeley.

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“It was really good and people in the movie theater were amazing,” Ferran said.

Not only were they the first ones to get in, it was also a special first for the family’s young twins. “It was (the twins) first time so I liked how their eyes lit up seeing a movie for the first time. And they sat still!” the twins’ dad, Luis Rubio, said.

There are strict restrictions at the movies. Capacity has been cut to 50 percent with two seats placed between groups and you can’t get in without a mask, despite the Center for Disease Control’s newly-relaxed masking guidelines.

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“Even though I’m personally vaccinated and I don’t technically have to wear a mask, I still feel like, for everybody else’s safety, that’s necessary until we get to a point where we are more in the clear,” said Abbot Lincoln, who lives in Berkeley.

Counties in California are waiting for guidance from the state when it comes to changes in masking requirements following CDC’s announcement.

While some are comfortable mask-free outdoors, others say it’s just another layer of security.

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“Every time I put the mask on when I leave the house, it just gives me, like, that much more sense of safety and reassurance that I am not going to catch it,” said Zan Lederer.