Theaters adapt to new COVID-19 guidelines ahead of busy holiday movie season

You won’t be able to eat popcorn or have a drink while watching a movie at the theater under new rules released by the Ontario government to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Under new restrictions, indoor venues that can accommodate more than 1,000 people must reduce their capacity by 50%.

Cineplex said the new guidelines would only affect its largest complexes, which have around 4,000 seats.

“It’s definitely going to have an impact during the holiday season, usually between Christmas and New Years, it’s the busiest week we experience throughout the calendar year,” said Kevin Watts, vice president Executive, Exhibition and LBE, at Cineplex.

The new rules arrive as Spiderman: No Way Home enters theaters, along with the highly anticipated Matrix Resurrections set to appear in theaters on December 22.

Cineplex says the Spider-Man sequel had the biggest lead in movie channel day ticket sales and Watts said, “There is a great demand and a great response for people who want to see this movie. . “

To avoid confusion, Watts said that if a customer has already purchased tickets in advance for a movie, they will be able to view it on the day and time they select.

“We just want everyone to know that the tickets they bought are valid and that they can attend their shows,” Watts said.

Under the new guidelines, food and drinks will not be allowed to be served in theaters and due to the reduced seating capacity, moviegoers may need to be more selective when it comes to selecting. the cinema and the times of the films they wish to see. .

“They may need to find a different show time or a different theater, especially in the GTA, and maybe look for an available show time that works for them,” Watts said.

Cineplex said that because a lot of things move quickly around the virus, if someone has purchased advanced tickets, they should keep an eye on their email account in case there are any changes or updates. day.

A spokesperson also told CTV New Toronto late in the afternoon that he was also reviewing “the most recent announcement made by the province today to see what it might mean for our theaters.”

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