Cineplex won't reopen movie theatres in Ontario on Friday as part of Stage 3
It's a good thing that drive-in movie theatres are all the rage and that streaming content is a thing, because Canada's largest cinema chain isn't poised to reopen soon — at least not in Ontario.
Cineplex revealed on Wednesday morning that it won't be reopening any of its Ontario theatres this Friday, July 17, when much of the province moves into Stage 3.
While legally, the entertainment chain can resume operations in all 24 of the public health regions approved to enter the next phase of our provincial government's economic reopening plan on Friday, Cineplex isn't yet "in a position" to do so.
The company told reporters today that it is "still reviewing what's being proposed by the province" and that "our top priority has always been the health and safety of our employees and guests and ensuring that their time with us is safe, comfortable and welcoming."
#BREAKING - Cineplex does not plan to open any of its theatres in Ontario this Friday. The company tells me “We are still reviewing what's being proposed by the province, so as a result we aren’t in a position to open our theatres in Ontario on Friday.” pic.twitter.com/7rmxlKCUk6— Richard Southern (@richard680news) July 15, 2020
Like so many other non-essential businesseses, Cineplex theatres have been under mandatory government closure orders since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier Doug Ford revealed on Monday that movie theatres were among the services permitted to reopen under Stage 3, but the province still lists them as "higher risk settings" where strict gathering limits must apply.
Cineplex must adhere to Ontario's new indoor gathering limit of 50 people, maximum, all subject to physical distancing of at least two metres with people from outside their households or social circles.
In provinces such as Alberta, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and B.C., select locations of the cinema chain have already reopened with enhanced public health and safety measures in place.
The company has not released any dates regarding when it plans to open theatres in Ontario, though it will still be prohibited from doing so in ten regions — Toronto included — until said regions get the green light to enter Stage 3 with the rest of the province.
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