Showtime! Cineplex, Landmark set to begin reopening theatres in Ottawa Friday

Scotiabank Theatre
The Scotiabank Theatre Ottawa is one of two local Cineplex locations that's reopening on Friday after being closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. Google Maps photo

Ottawa movie buffs ​– not to mention residents just looking for a way to beat the heat in the air-conditioned comfort of a theatre ​– will soon have a few more local venues to enjoy.

Canadian entertainment giant Cineplex said Thursday it’s opening 25 movie theatres across the province this Friday, including two in Ottawa. The company said it’s part of a “phased approach” to restarting its operations, which have been shut down for several months due to the COVID-19 crisis.

In Ottawa, the two locations reopening Friday are the Scotiabank Theatre Ottawa on City Park Drive near Gloucester Centre; and Cineplex Cinemas Ottawa on Carling Avenue.

Meanwhile, Calgary-based Landmark Cinemas said it was reopening all of its theatres in Ontario on Friday, including its locations in Kanata and Orl​éans.

As many as 50 people will be allowed per individual screen, up from the maximum of 50 per building the province mandated in its original guidelines for phase three of the reopening of the economy earlier this month.

Cineplex said it expects the majority of its locations to reopen over the next several weeks, including its 43 other theatres across Ontario.

The company will be offering $5 tickets as a goodwill gesture and showing past summer favourites such as Beauty and the Beast, Jaws, Bohemian Rhapsody and Jurassic Park. Cineplex says it plan to implement a number of safety measures, such as reducing capacity in its auditoriums, accepting debit and credit payments only and requiring masks where community guidelines dictate.

Landmark, meanwhile, will also be reducing admission to $5 for "classic" movies while stepping up cleaning procedures and taking other safety precautions.