Cineplex reopening SilverCity Sudbury Cinemas with enhanced procedures

For those who’ve missed watching the latest blockbuster on the big screen, Cineplex will reopen SilverCity Sudbury Cinemas on Friday.

The entertainment and media company had to close all of its Ontario locations during the recent provincial lockdown.

The capacity for the entire Barrydowne Road 12-theatre building is 50 people, says Kevin Matthews, executive director for the Manitoba and northern Ontario operations.

That number is based on indoor limits under the Orange Restrict zone, which Sudbury is currently under with the provincial framework for COVID-19 measures.

The indoor capacity limit will expand as the local situation improves and Sudbury moves into yellow or green zones.

The current capacity limit means that SilverCity Sudbury will only use four of its theatres, it will stagger movie times, and is only allowing 15 guests in each theatre at a time.

“The safety of our guests is at the forefront of our minds so that we can open in a way in which we’re safe for them,” Matthews said.

A number of health and safety measures are now in place at Silver City for both movie-goers and staff.

“We’ve enhanced our procedures around cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting, in addition to having PPE [personal protective equipment for staff] such as face masks and shields on and/or available,” he said.

Staff at Cineplex Theatres, which is reopening in Ontario must wear face coverings or face shields. Movie-goers will also be required to wear a mask, except when eating or drinking. (Mike Symington/CBC)

Customers will be required to wear a face covering, including while watching the movie. However they can remove it while eating or drinking.

Reserve seating, contactless payment

“We have adapted and updated our reserve seating, and we have contactless payments,” Matthews said. 

Seating must be chosen at the time of ticket sales. This is for cleaning purposes and to conduct contact tracing, if needed.

It will also allow different households to remain two metres apart within the theatre space.

“If you’re there for example with three family members, nobody will be within six feet (two metres) of your nearest family member,” he said.

“There has been zero transmission [of COVID-19] from movie theatres in Canada. So we feel very confident in the systems and procedures that we’ve put in place to hopefully ease our guests minds as they are determining whether or not they can come back into a public place.”

More than 20 SilverCity Sudbury Cinemas staff members were recalled after the lockdown lifted. 

“As we move into codes where there’s less restrictions we’ll be able to recall more,” Matthews said.

Other Cineplex locations reopening in Ontario on Friday are Ottawa, Cornwall, Sarnia and Brantford. Cineplex’s Galaxy Cinema in Sault Ste. Marie reopened Feb.19.

Winnipeg, where Matthews is based, remains under a lockdown, so he says he’s a bit jealous of movie goers getting to return to theatres to watch the latest blockbuster movies.

“My advice: enjoy the big screen and have fun. Enjoy your movie.”

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