Cineplex reopens all Canadian theatres

Following the release of The SpongeBob Movie and Unhinged last week, Tenet lands in Cineplex theatres Aug. 27, a week ahead of the U.S.

As of today (Aug. 21), all of Cineplex’s theatres in the country have been reopened.

Across the country 164 theatres and 1,687 screens, including 22 VIP Cinemas locations, will collectively open their doors for the first time since March. With the move, Cineplex says it is the first of the world’s major exhibition chains to get its entire circuit of theatres up and running.

After enduring a torrid five months that saw its $2.8 billion acquisition by Cineworld fall apart and its Q2 revenue plummet by 95%, Cineplex last week opened 80% of its theatres as it attempted to lure audiences back to auditoriums with The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run and Russell Crowe-starring Unhinged, the first new releases since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.

This weekend’s reopening is one week ahead the release of the thrice-delayed Tenet – Christopher Nolan’s first film since 2017′s Best Picture nominee Dunkirk.

The film, now slated for its Canadian release on Aug. 27, was the subject of much chopping and changing, with Warner Bros. just last month removing the spy thriller from its releasing catalogue altogether. But, to the delight and relief of exhibitors across the globe, the movie was eventually rescheduled for late August.

In Ontario, where Cineplex operates more than 60 theatres, per-auditorium capacity is capped at 50 people. In order to adhere to COVID-19-related guidelines, Cineplex said it is taking the following measures: offering reserved seating in all auditoriums; reducing capacity in all auditoriums; enhancing cleaning practices throughout its facilities, with particular focus on high-contact surfaces, restrooms and seats; and making hand sanitizer readily available for guests and employees.

Following Tenet, a number of other tentpoles are expected to be released in the remainder of 2020, including Wonder Woman 1984Black Widow and the latest James Bond movie No Time To Die

Q2 saw Cineplex revenue drop by 95%, with exhibition and media earnings taking a hit.

This story originally appears in Playback.