Cineplex is planning to reopen across Canada

The theatre chain is instituting new health and safety protocols, including reserved seating in all auditoriums, to bring people back to the movies


Cineplex Cinemas is getting ready to reopen.

Three months after the national theatre chain shuttered its venues due to coronavirus concerns – and just days after the announcement that British exhibitor Cineworld Group had abandoned its acquisition of the company – Cineplex issued a press release teasing its plans to get back to business.

“Cineplex has been diligently preparing” for a “safe reopening,” the release explained, promising “an industry-leading program with end-to-end health and safety protocols.” Specific details have yet to be announced.

The first venues to reopen will be Cineplex’s Rec Room facilities in Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton, with “measured operations” resuming this week, and six theatres in Alberta are expected to return to operation June 26. The chain plans to open on July 3 “in all markets where Cineplex is permitted by government and health authorities,” according to the statement.

Reserved seating will be implemented in every auditorium to ensure proper physical distancing, and core concessions will be operating.

“We will be enhancing our cleaning protocols to the highest levels, ensuring our team has the personal protective equipment they need to keep everyone safe and implementing physical distancing measures throughout our buildings, including our lobbies, games floors and food service areas,” Cineplex’s executive director of communications Sarah Van Lange wrote in an email to NOW.

Asked whether guests would be required to wear masks, Van Lange did not comment.

The programming for the reopening is still being worked out, with “previously released titles” expected to screen until distributors start releasing movies again.

But they’re coming: Elevation Pictures announced its romantic comedy The Broken Hearts Gallery would open nationwide July 10, and while Walt Disney Pictures is holding to its July 24 release date for its live-action Mulan, Warner Bros. just made headlines by moving Christopher Nolan’s new thriller Tenet from July 17 to July 31.

@normwilner

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