Cineplex Inc., in this undated photo. (The Canadian Press)

Cineplex Inc., in this undated photo. (The Canadian Press)

Some movie theatres set to reopen this week following lengthy COVID-19 shutdown

Movie goers should expect a different experience, B.C.’s two largest movie theatre companies say

B.C.’s two major theatre companies, Cineplex Inc. and Landmark Cinemas, are reopening some theatres in B.C. as the province enters Phase Three of its restart plan.

The Toronto-based movie theatre company, Cineplex, has made ticket purchases available online for a number of locations through the province, according to its website on Tuesday (June 30). Theatres which appear to be opening for viewings on Friday include locations in Nanaimo, Vancouver, Langley, Victoria and Burnaby.

There will be some changes for movie goers, however, to ensure physical distancing. This includes a staggered seating reservation system and contactless ticket purchases. Guests will not be able to use cash, except for the purchase of a gift card and will have to have exact change.

Concession options will be limited, as well.

Guests are being asked to arrive no more than 15 minutes prior to the movie start time. While masks are not mandatory, they are being recommended and those who don’t have a mask will be supplied one at no extra cost.

Behind the scenes, the movie theatre company has confirmed that seats, handrails and children’s booster seats will be wiped down with industrial-grade cleaning products between each showtime, followed by a deep-clean of the entire auditorium and lobby each evening.

The reopenings come as Cineplex vows to sue U.K.-based chain Cineworld PLC for calling off a $2.8-billion takeover of the company. On Monday, Cineplex said the COVID-19 pandemic had a “material negative effect” on its operations and resulted in a $178.4-million loss in the first quarter.

Theatre locations set to open Friday include:

  • Burnaby
  • Kelowna
  • Langley
  • Nanaimo
  • Richmond
  • Surrey
  • Vancouver
  • Victoria

Meanwhile, Landmark Cinemas will also be reopening its doors Friday, with similar safety measures.

“We ask movie lovers join us in doing their part to protect members of their community, including our employees, by staying home if they are experiencing any symptoms,” a statement from the company reads.

There, classic movies will be screened such as Jurassic Park, Jaws, The Empire Strikes Back, Wonder Woman, and ET: The Extra-Terrestrial. Tickets will be $5 through the week and $2.99 on Tuesdays.

Landmark theatres screening movies include:

  • Campbell River
  • Courtenay
  • Cranbrook
  • Dawson Creek
  • Fort St. John
  • Kelowna, Grand 10
  • Nanaimo
  • New Westminster
  • Penticton
  • Port Alberni
  • Surrey, Guildford
  • West Kelowna, Encore
  • West Kelowna, Xtreme

– with files from The Canadian Press


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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