Ontario movie theatres will be allowed to dramatically increase capacity this week
TORONTO -- Movie theatres in Ontario will be able to dramatically increase capacity this week, CTV News Toronto has learned, allowing up to 50 people per showing, rather than in the entire building.
Senior government sources tell CTV News Toronto provincial health officials approved a new plan for movie theatres after officials with Cineplex Inc. raised concerns about the viability of the reopening plan.
The initial guidelines restricted cinemas to 50 people inside the entire facility regardless of how many screens were available – a policy that theatre owners said would have meant operating at a loss.
The new guidelines would allow owners to resume showings on all screens, with a limit of 50 people per cinema. For movie theatres that have 20 screens, for example, the operation would be able to seat up to 1,000 people at any given time.
Movie theatres would still have to ensure physical distancing during screenings and clean seats, touch surfaces and washrooms between showings. Movie times would also have to be staggered to avoid overcrowding.
Lisa MacLeod, minister of tourism and culture, announced on social media on Thursday that she had a "productive call" with the CEO of Cineplex to inform the company of the new protocols.