Cineplex urges Ontario to make changes to theatre occupancy limits

Cineplex urges Ontario to make changes to theatre occupancy limits
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TORONTO — Executives at Cineplex Inc. are urging the Ontario government to loosen restrictions over how many people can occupy its buildings at a single time.

Dan McGrath, chief operating officer of the Canadian movie theatre chain, says the company has been in conversations with the province’s health ministry in hopes of revising movie theatre limits to allow 50 moviegoers inside a single auditorium.

Ontario’s Stage 3 reopening guidelines, introduced last week, cap movie theatres at an occupancy of 50 people throughout the entire building, regardless of how many auditoriums it operates.

McGrath says the existing capacity doesn’t make economic sense for the chain as it faces the costs of running the business and paying employees at each theatre.

Cineplex has reopened 36 locations in provinces where distancing measures are less restrictive, but its Ontario theatres remain closed.

However, some of the province’s single-screen independent theatres have restarted screenings over the past week, including cinemas in Kingston and Waterloo.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CGX)

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David Friend, The Canadian Press

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