Despite a ban on selling popcorn, the majority of Quebec cinemas will reopen their theaters at the start of Spring Break next Friday.
It was the Association of Movie Theater Owners of Quebec (APCQ) that made this announcement late Friday afternoon. join NewspaperAPCQ Co-Chair, Eric Bouchard, determined that of the hundreds of cinemas spread across the province, more than sixty roles have already made the decision to open on February 26.
Vincent Jozo, who is not part of APCQ, reiterated on his part Friday that he would not open his rooms if he could not operate the food counters in his complexes. As for the Cineplex, the country’s largest theater chain, no decision was made yesterday.
“We realize that with the ban on the sale of foodstuffs in our cinemas, the coming weeks will be difficult financially, but we are happy to reopen our doors, and we are happy that the government listened to us,” Eric Bouchard said Friday.
I think that when the government allowed cinemas without dining tables to reopen, the real implications of such a decision were not measured. But they later realized that without selling food, we would have a huge deficit. They showed us their goodwill, so we said to ourselves: We will reopen our cinemas and we’ll talk to each other later. “
Cinemas that will open on February 26 will not receive specific financial compensation for the food ban. Instead, they will be eligible for the Provincial Enterprise Assistance Program at Maximum Alert (AERAM), which will allow them to continue to receive loan waivers of up to $ 15,000 per month. This program is designed for businesses that have shut down due to the pandemic, but cinemas will be able to continue accessing it as long as their dining franchises remain closed.
The Legault government caused an uproar last Tuesday when it announced that all cinemas in the county could reopen their theaters to moviegoers starting February 26th, but they will not have the right to operate their food counters for now. Some theater operators, including Vincent Jozo, were vehemently against the move, arguing that they would have to work at a loss if they couldn’t sell popcorn and other goodies. According to APCQ, the sale of foodstuffs accounts for between 50% and 80% of cinema revenue.