Cinemas Face New Ontario Capacity Rules On ‘Spider Man’ Opening Weekend | The Canadian News

TORONTO – New capacity limits going into effect in Ontario theaters won’t leave Spider-Man fans out in the cold.

Cineplex Inc. and Landmark Cinemas, two of Canada’s largest film exhibitors, say viewers who pre-purchased tickets to the anticipated blockbuster “Spider-Man: No Way Home” will still have seats when COVID measures -19 limit large venues to 50 percent. capacity on Friday at midnight.

This is because Premier Doug Ford’s latest rules for indoor facilities with a capacity of more than 1,000 people do not require physical distancing.

In the case of multiplexes, that means that an auditorium can be more than 50% full, as long as the entire building remains at half capacity.

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In practice, the crowds within a “Spider-Man: No Way Home” screening could exceed 50 percent of capacity, as long as the less popular movie screenings equal the balance.

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Cinemas in Kingston, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie is an exception, as those regions face specific health directives that include social distancing and limit capacity to 50 percent for each auditorium.

Cineplex noted Friday night that its Ottawa theaters would also be subject to distancing rules starting Sunday.

The new capacity limits take effect shortly before another round of tighter restrictions is introduced on Sunday morning.

The Ford administration said late Friday that the new precautions include a ban on the sale of food and beverages in various places, including movie theaters. Concession sales are an important part of a multiplex’s operating income, as the majority of ticket sales go to the distributor of the film.

The province says the stricter rules on food and drink are part of an effort to discourage people from removing masks and spreading the virus in public.

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“Spider-Man: No Way Home” hits theaters following record-breaking ticket pre-sales. Industry estimates suggest the film could gross more than $ 130 million over the weekend, which would be the highest release for any movie since the pandemic began.

The Marvel superhero movie is one of the biggest titles of the holiday movie season, which will see the release of several other major titles, including “The Matrix Resurrections,” “The King’s Man,” “Sing 2,” and the awards. “Licorice Pizza”. next weekend.

Cineplex Inc., the nation’s largest movie chain, says it plans to follow new government guidelines by moving some guests with reserved tickets to other seats in less crowded auditoriums when they arrive.

“We appreciate the patience and understanding of our guests as our local teams do their best to implement these new mandatory changes on very tight deadlines,” the company said in a statement.

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“Our priority is first to implement these new guidelines and second to safely accommodate all of our guests with tickets for upcoming times.”

Landmark Cinemas, which operates fewer cinemas in the province, says the latest capacity limits will have little noticeable impact.

“Moviegoers will be able to experience ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ at all Landmark cinemas without changing the seats they previously purchased,” the company said in a statement, noting that it has larger venues in Kanata, Whitby, Kitchener and Waterloo. .

“We will monitor ticket sales to ensure we comply with the government’s order to maintain 50 percent occupancy at the complex.”

Other provinces have taken different approaches to theatrical ability and distancing measures.

The rules in British Columbia and Quebec coincide with Ontario, while most theaters in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island are capped at 50 percent capacity and subject to physical distance.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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