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Theatres seeing return to normal after re-opening

With new movies coming out, theatres across B.C. are slowly welcoming people back to the cinema.

Under the provincial government’s reopening plan, theatres were able to prop open their doors on June 15th.

CEO of Landmark Cinemas Bill Walker said the first couple of weeks have gone well, and they’re excited to welcome back moviegoers.

“Across the province, it has been good to open in all of our B.C. locations with some new movies and also bringing back some movies that have opened in the recent couple of weeks,” he said.

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“Compared to our previous opening last summer, just having new content to showcase and the ability to open is pretty exciting.”

Theatres are currently limited to 50 guests per auditorium, for most locations about 25% of original capacity and social distancing being enforced.

“It’s mandated by our reserve seating system so you can have certainty of where you’re sitting when you arrive in the auditorium,” Walker added.

Walker said they have been happy with the number of people going to the movies but can’t wait for full reopening.

“We’re pleased with this opening phase and we think once we get into the first real blockbuster movie it’s going to be a real good test of people’s readiness to get back out to the cinema.”

According to Walker, it’s not only streaming services and other content the theatres are competing against, it’s now also other activities.

“We’ve always competed with the home, we’ve always competed with other entertainment alternatives and I think right now as we get into these re-opening phases, we’re competing with people catching up on the things they missed most. That’s visiting family, visiting friends, having a dinner party, gathering outside and socializing.”

Walker said that even though it may be a slow recovery, he thinks there will still be a demand for the theatre experience.

**Story by Josiah Spyker**

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