Theater rooms at the Eastfield Mall have now turned into courtrooms.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Potential jurors are being called to duty at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield. Western Mass News has been telling you about the old movie theater being transformed into courtrooms.

Theater rooms at the Eastfield Mall have now turned into courtrooms.

Western Mass News was invited in on Tuesday to see the space where potential jurors have replaced moviegoers.

“Actually, it’s going a little smoother than I anticipated,” Hampden County Superior Court Judge Jane Mulqueen said.

Judge Mulqueen said selecting jurors for an upcoming trial inside Eastfield Mall was strange for her at first.

“Just that it was an odd venue, but we need to get cases going, and if this is where we need to do it, we need to do it,” Judge Mulqueen explained.

The judge sits where the big movie screen used to be while questioning potential jurors one at a time.

Those waiting to be called sit where moviegoers used to be all of them masked and socially distanced.

“I feel like people associate courts and courtrooms with bad stuff happening. People committing crimes, whereas going to the movie theater is a lot more fun and exciting,” Springfield resident Austin Kinsley said.

But with trials on hold until now due to the pandemic, others are on the same page as Judge Mulqueen.

“I think we need to do what we have to do to get society back to normal, and if it means utilizing spaces that were not used that way before, it makes sense,” Southwick resident David Jackson said.

“You got to go somewhere and keep justice flowing,” Great Barrington resident Audrey Raifstanger said.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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