Canadian cinemas set to reopen amid Omicron outbreak – The Hollywood Reporter

Canadian movie theaters are set for a staggered reopening amid the omicron outbreak, but cinema chain operators in Ontario face continued restrictions on food and drink sales as Hollywood films return to the big screen.

The latest cinema closures in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario followed local health advisers tightening restrictions for COVID-19 hotspots, which include Toronto and Montreal, where the number of virus cases rose amid of the omicron outbreak.

Cineplex, Canada’s largest movie theater operator, welcomed that theaters in Ontario can reopen on January 31 with capacity restrictions, while wondering why patrons still won’t be able to purchase and consume movie theaters. popcorn and soft drinks in its cinemas.

“Popcorn and movies go hand in hand, so the continued restrictions on food and drink sales in our theaters are disappointing. We will keep our poppers warm so we will be ready when these unwarranted restrictions are lifted,” said Ellis Jacob, president and CEO of Cineplex, in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

Exhibitors insist they have taken comprehensive measures to ensure the safety of moviegoers in their venues. But health authorities are defending a ban on the sale of food and drink in movie theaters to ensure patrons wear masks throughout the screening of films as an additional measure to prevent transmission of the COVID virus. -19.

Bell Lightbox, Toronto’s year-round home for the Toronto Film Festival, announced it will reopen Feb. 3, with 50% seating capacity and no food and drink sales. “Masks are mandatory for all TIFF Bell Lightbox staff, visitors and guests and proof of vaccination is required to enter the building,” said the Toronto Film Festival, which has the 5-screen complex as its year-round residence, in a statement. .

Bell Lightbox will reopen with an exclusive 70mm series from Paul Thomas Anderson Licorice Pizzafollowed on February 11 by The worst person in the world, the finale in Joachim Trier Oslo Trilogy.

Elsewhere, cinemas in Quebec were given the green light to reopen on February 7 after that Canadian province also took steps to quell a dramatic spike in COVID-19 infection cases due to the emergence of the omicron variant. . The Government of Quebec has also set a capacity of 50%, up to a maximum of 500 people.

Canadians attending the local multiplex will still need to show proof of vaccination to enter theaters.

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