Canada’s largest movie theatre company announced today it is taking proactive heightened measures across all of its properties to address quickly rising concerns around the spread of COVID-19.
Cineplex says it is following the lead of public health authorities and is committed to providing comfortable and safe entertainment experiences at its theatres and entertainment attractions of The Rec Room and Playdium.
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According to an open letter by Ellis Jacob, the president and CEO of Cineplex, enhanced cleaning protocols have been introduced at all locations, especially on high-traffic and high-contact areas.
The company is also increasing communications and reminders with its guests and employees on important health and safety measures.
“I want to assure our guests that we are taking all appropriate measures to ensure our venues are safe and that we have existing plans and training protocols in place to ensure they stay that way,” he wrote.
“While the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the current public health risk associated with coronavirus as low, we continue to monitor for developments very closely.”
Anyone who is feeling sick is being asked to refrain from visiting their properties. This includes Cineplex employees, who will benefit from employment policies that protect hourly staff. Employees who need to stay home will not be penalized financially.
Cineplex has over 160 theatre locations across Canada.
Some of the 2020’s most anticipated films are still scheduled for release in the Canadian and US markets over the coming weeks, including Disney’s Mulan on March 27, 20th Century Studios’ The New Mutants on April 3, and Marvel Studios’ Black Widow on May 1.
Within China, Mulan was expected to be a major box office hit, but the release of the film in this target market has been delayed until further notice as a result of the pandemic.
Universal Pictures’ No Time To Die, the 25th movie in the 007 James Bond film series, was originally scheduled for a release in April, but it has been pushed to November.
The last major new film is Disney Pixar’s Onward, which was released just last Friday. Despite its high critical acclaim, the film has only seen a worldwide box office total haul of $76.4 million over the past week, including the weekend debut of $40 million – the third-ever lowest start for a film by Pixar.
Canada’s public health authorities have yet to issue restrictive policies over large events and gatherings, such as movie theatres. But organizers of upcoming events and conferences have cancelled or postponed their activities, and the major sports leagues of MLB, MLS, NBA, and NHL have halt all of their play.