Published Mar 16, 2020After implementing social distancing measures and enhanced cleaning schedules last week, Cineplex has now moved to close its entertainment venues across Canada following the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
"Based on the publicly stated guidance from multiple public health authorities, including recent government directives and the escalating dangers of community spread, we are temporarily closing our network of entertainment venues," Cineplex confirmed in a statement from president and CEO Ellis Jacob this evening.
The statement, signed by Cineplex president and CEO Ellis Jacob, confirms the closure of the company's 165 theatres across Canada, in addition to all locations of Playdium and the Rec Room. The closure begins tonight and runs through April 2.
"All bookings will be cancelled for a full refund, including private theatre bookings, individual and group reservations at the Rec Room and Playdium as well as our guests with advanced tickets to see a movie in one of our theatres," the statement concludes.
News of the closures comes four days after Cineplex kept venues open with the implementation of "additional measures" to ensure the safety of the public and its employees.
Initial measures announced March 12 included enhanced cleaning protocols with focus on high traffic and high contact areas, in addition to "increasing communications and reminders with our guests, partners and employees on important health and safety measures."
The following day (March 13), Cineplex reduced capacity of all 16,93 theatre auditoriums across the country by 50 precent to allow for social distancing.
You can find Cineplex's complete statement on the closures below.
When it comes to the silver screen, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has already led to the postponement of films including Disney's Mulan remake, A Quiet Place II and the forthcoming James Bond title No Time to Die.
As theatres across the world continue to close or severely restrict capacity, mass media companies are exploring the possibility of breaking theatrical windows to service films to viewers in isolation.
Production on shows like Stranger Things, Riverdale and The Witcher has been halted, while upcoming film festivals such as Hot Docs and the Calgary Underground Film Festival have been postponed.
Follow Exclaim!'s ongoing list of Canadian music and film events affected by coronavirus so far.
Our continued Response to COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/WvqAAm1EVh— Cineplex (@CineplexMovies) March 17, 2020