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B.C. movie theatres prepare for reopening after months-long COVID closure

Last Updated Jun 9, 2021 at 8:26 pm PDT


Landmark Cinemas, Cineplex is among the businesses preparing to welcome people back at almost all of its facilities

B.C. is on track to enter the second stage of its restart plan on Tuesday

Movie-goers will be required to wear masks unless seated, follow other COVID-19 protocols

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – People across B.C. will soon be able to watch movies on the big screen — theatres are planning their reopenings for June 15.

Landmark Cinemas and Cineplex are among the businesses preparing to welcome people back at almost all of its facilities next week.

This comes as B.C. is on track to enter the second stage of its restart plan. While the province has not yet officially announced it would enter the next phase on Tuesday, Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Réka Gustafson hinted earlier this week that things were trending in that direction.

This next phase, which is set to begin as early as Tuesday, notes a maximum of 50 people can gather for indoor, organized gatherings, such as in theatres, live theatres, and banquet halls.

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Landmark says it will operate “in accordance” with the plan, as well as work with local health regulations and bylaws.

“We are excited to welcome Movie Lovers across British Columbia back to the big-screen, big sound moviegoing experience that you can only enjoy in theatres,” said CEO Bill Walker, adding “we are fully prepared to provide Movie Lovers with a safe and enjoyable movie-going experience.”

Last month, Walker questioned B.C.’s restart plan, saying it was unclear why the reopening of movie theatres was included in the second phase when people were already able to dine with others at restaurants and gather at homes.

If you’ve been watching movies for months in the dark in your living room, Ken Mont with Cineplex says it just isn’t the same thing.

“Sitting in an auditorium, whether it’s for a comedy you get to laugh with people, or the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ of an action film — there’s nothing like seeing a movie on the big screen. So we’re very excited to have people come back and experience that again,” he says.

So, Mont is banking on you feeling the same way before theatres were closed as tickets for next week go up for sale.

“Everybody has just been raring to go and turn the lights back and start popping popcorn. We’re very excited to get back to it. The best part of our job is being busy, we enjoy those days where it’s really busy. So we’re looking forward to hopefully in the very near future, getting back to some of those normal busy evenings and weekends.”

Movie-goers will be required to wear masks at all times while inside the theatre properties, only being able to take their face coverings off when they are seated to enjoy their snacks and drinks.

As always, people are asked to stay home if they’re feeling unwell as well as if they’ve been in contact with anyone who’s tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of their movie.

The upcoming easing of restrictions also has both movie theatre companies looking for employees. Cineplex currently has more than 25 job postings for its 13 locations in the Lower Mainland. Landmark, which has two locations on the Lower Mainland, also has several positions open.