Cinemas in Ottawa will be among the companies that will be allowed to reopen at 50 percent on January 31, but when they do, food and drink will not be part of the show.
Movies and popcorn – a duet that usually go hand in hand, but the county confirmed to CTV News Ottawa on Friday that food and drink will not be allowed when restrictions are eased.
“For us, this is a killer,” said Josh Stafford, co-owner of the Mayfair Theater.
“It’s been a joke with the movies since they started, everyone knows we’re not really making a profit by providing entertainment, we’re a popcorn clinic.”
In a statement to CTV News, Cineplex described the move as “disappointing”.
“We will keep our poppers warm so we can be ready when these unjustified restrictions are lifted,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO of Cineplex.
At the Mayfair Theater, they can’t understand how popcorn and movie sweets make people more vulnerable to an airborne virus.
“I do not want to throw any restaurant under a bus, but it is strange that they can serve food to people sitting around a table, but we can not serve food to people sitting at a social distance and everyone looks the same way Said Stafford.
“It’s a big deal we have to close,” said Daniel Demois, co-owner of Bytowne Cinema.
It puts Bytowne in a difficult position. they were selling popcorn in a package through the lockdown. When they reopen, they will not be able to sell it to customers in the theater.
“It was great, people supported it a lot, we will do it again this weekend and we are still deciding if we want to keep it open as a take out only when we are open for screenings,” said Demois.
In a statement to CTV News, Landmark Cinemas said: “We are disappointed that we will not be able to serve food and drink during reopening.”
Meanwhile, sports franchises such as the Senators and Ottawa 67’s, which also will not be able to serve food or drink, are pushed back for another month with just 500 fans in the stands.
“It’s not ideal and it’s not what we expected it to be, but it’s what it is,” said Mark Goudie, CEO of Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.
“Economically I think it does not make sense to do it, but functionally I think it does.”
So while some are celebrating the careful and gradual reopening, others are simply asking why the government is doing it this way.
“Ever since the pandemic started there have been inconsistencies with the rules, it never really made sense,” Demois said.
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