cineplex ontario

Cineplex asks Ontario to loosen restrictions on movie theatre capacity

Cineplex revealed last week that it wouldn't be resuming operations at any theatres in Ontario under Stage 3 of the provincial government's reopening plan, despite legally being permitted to do so. 

Today, we learned why.

Executives for Canada's largest movie theatre chain are reportedly asking the province to lift its restrictions even more, particularly when it comes to gathering limits.

During Stage 3, gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed indoors and gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed outdoors.

Cineplex Inc.'s chief operating officer Dan McGrath told the Canadian Press today, however, that the company can't really turn a profit with such a restricted capacity.

McGrath has reportedly "been in conversations with the province's health ministry in hopes of revising limits" that allow 50 people inside each single movie auditorium, as opposed to 50 people inside the building total.

"Unless we can get 50 people per auditorium, we'd be operating at a loss," said McGrath of the ask. "We'd like to see higher."

While Cineplex has already reopened 35 locations in provinces where social distancing orders are less restrictive, it doesn't look like the company will bend for Ontario unless the government bends for it. During a global pandemic.

Fortunately for film buffs, there aren't many new movies coming out this summer anyway.

Those who miss the experience of going to the show can also now attend one of many newly-launched drive-in theatres around Toronto and the rest of the province.

Lead photo by

Steve Harris


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