Cineplex to Open Entire Movie Theater Circuit on Friday

Cineplex Cinemas - H - 2020

The Canadian chain will open the doors on all 164 theaters countrywide, just as its U.S. peers accelerate their phased relaunches this weekend.

Canada's Cineplex will have all of its 1,687 of movie theater screens open for Hollywood tentpoles on Friday, making the exhibitor the first major theatre chain in North America to fully reopen.

On Thursday, Cineplex said all 164 Cineplex theaters operating across Canada will have their doors open this weekend, including 22 VIP Cinemas locations.

In mid-March, the Canadian exhibitor shut down its entire circuit as the novel coronavirus spread led to a nationwide lockdown. Having its entire circuit open in time Christopher Nolan's Tenet playing in Cineplex theatres from August 27, and for new releases like The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run and Unhinged, contrasts with major U.S. chains this weekend accelerating their own phased reopenings.

“I want to assure our guests and employees that alongside this great milestone, we have implemented industry-leading health and safety protocols and will continue updating and evolving our practices as necessary to keep everyone healthy and safe,” Ellis Jacob, president and CEO of Cineplex, said in a statement.

Cineplex started its own phased reopening of its nationwide circuit amid the coronavirus pandemic on June 26 in Alberta.

Since then, greenlights have come from all public health authorities in individual provinces to allow the entire Cineplex circuit to finally reopen.