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Kelowna Cineplex among handful of firm's BC theatres to open this Friday

Cineplex has announced it will reopen some theatres across Canada on Friday – including Kelowna's.

The Orchard Plaza Cineplex has been chosen as one of only a handful of theatres in British Columbia to emerge from the COVID-19 shutdown on July 3.

They were first closed back in mid-March.

Cineplex said it would be taking a “phased approach” to reopening in BC but expected the majority of its theatres to be back in business in July.

The firm said its main priority is the health and safety of staff and customers.

<who> Photo credit: Canadian Press

“All theatres will open with enhanced safety and cleaning measures as well as updated procedures to allow for physical distancing both inside and outside auditoriums,” Cineplex explained.

Some of the new COVID-19 measures include:

  • Reserved seating in all auditoriums across Canada – seating options will be automatically blocked off to ensure proper distance in every direction between guests

  • Reducing capacity in all auditoriums to allow for physical distancing

  • Enhancing cleaning practices throughout our facilities, with particular focus on high-contact surfaces, restrooms and seats

  • Accepting debit and credit payments only, with the exception of gift card purchases

  • Limiting food offerings in theatres to Cineplex’s famous popcorn and other core concessions

  • Ensuring employees have the personal protective equipment they need

  • Making hand sanitizer readily available for guests and employees throughout our buildings

  • Keeping VIP Cinemas closed for now

Cineplex also said it is banning journalists from its premises during operating hours.

The firm said it will be offering $5 tickets and showing movies that cinemagoers may have missed during the pandemic.

“The past three months have given us a new appreciation for the importance of friends and family and the power of shared experiences with those we love,” said Ellis Jacob, president and CEO of Cineplex.

Other cinemas to have reopened in the region include Landmark’s Grand 10 in Kelowna, both Encore and XTreme in West Kelowna and the theatre in Penticton.

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