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VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty
Noted movie theater fan Christopher Nolan is back to doing what he loves most.
The famed director behind Tenet and Dunkirk was spotted attending a showing at an AMC theater in Los Angeles on Monday, the day movie theaters opened for the first time in over a year. According to NBC News, which captured footage of Nolan standing alongside fellow movie fans, the director was among the first customers in line on the day theaters re-opened.
Nolan, 50, also took photos with fans at the theater who were excited to count the director among them. According to one fan, Nolan caught a screening of the Oscar-nominated movie Judas and the Black Messiah about the death of Black Panther chairman Fred Hampton at 21 in an FBI raid.
Los Angeles County got the green light to open movie theaters on Monday for the first time after major chains like AMC and Regal closed in mid-March 2020 due to growing concerns about the COVID-19 health crisis. The raging pandemic continued to keep them closed in big cities like L.A. and New York City, though both have now returned to limited seating in theaters.
Nolan is a well-known advocate of seeing movies on the big screen as the industry turns more and more to streaming platforms. Late last year, Nolan blasted Warner Bros.'s decision to release its 2021 slate of movies in theaters and on its streamer HBO Max at the same time.
"Because other than the fact that it's not a very rational business decision," he told PEOPLE in December, "the way in which they did it — they didn't tell any of the filmmakers or any of the movie stars involved in those projects for 2021. These were people who spent years engaged on projects that were intended to be releases for the big screen and for home video worldwide."
At the time, Nolan remained optimistic about fans returning to theaters once they were able.
"I think [audiences] will come roaring back when it's possible, but like so many aspects of our lives and businesses and so forth, a lot of things are on hold right now because they have to be," he told PEOPLE.
"We've already seen that in other countries with our own film, which grossed more than $300 million in international markets," Nolan added of his latest Tenet, which opened in theaters worldwide last year. "People love going to the movies and long term that's what's going to be the case."