TORONTO — The top of Ontario’s largest drive-in theatre chain says the province’s newest reopening plan threatens to ship shockwaves via the Canadian movie trade and put some exhibitors out of enterprise.
Brian Allen, president of Toronto-based Premier Theatres, says “it’s completely unacceptable” that Premier Doug Ford’s new three-step plan prevents him from reopening his bodily distanced drive-ins earlier than mid-June.
The newest pointers, outlined on Thursday, will enable outside leisure facilities, corresponding to golf programs, to reopen within the province on Saturday.
Drive-in screens must wait longer, regardless that they implement using masks and distancing measures, corresponding to on-line ticket gross sales and a telephone app to order from the concession. They’re a part of Step 1, that can possible start the week of June 14.
Allen says he’s already misplaced no less than eight weeks of enterprise at his drive-in theatres in London, Ont., Barrie, Newmarket, Hamilton and Oakville.
And he expects by the point drive-ins reopen he’ll have missed about 40 per cent of his seasonal income, together with early summer season blockbusters which can be hitting theatres stateside.
“Whenever you minimize out our season, you’re reducing out our lifeline,” he stated.
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“They appear to do issues with a hammer, fairly than a scalpel ? It’s going to place some drive-ins probably out of enterprise.”
Film theatre operators additionally criticized Ontario’s three-step plan, which wouldn’t see indoor cinemas open till late July on the earliest.
“We’ve been working safely in Quebec since February — all through your entire third wave — whereas permitting 250 friends per auditorium,” stated Cineplex Inc. president Ellis Jacob in a press release.
“Cinemas can be locked down in Ontario longer than another jurisdiction on the planet, all because of a authorities that ignores the info.”
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