An independent Calgary movie theatre said it could take weeks to reopen even after the government reassesses Step three in easing public health restrictions.
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced Monday that restrictions would not be eased amid rising COVID-19 cases.
“This is the safe move, it’s the smart move to make for our province right now,” Shandro said on Monday.
“It is absolutely necessary to help us avoid a third wave that would take more lives.”
Business owners eagerly waiting for the day they can reopen were disappointed in the news.
“We understand the frustration of not just business owner but all of Albertans, and how public health orders are affecting our activities and busineses,” said Shandro.
Shandro pointed out that there were no set dates on when they would reassess Step three.
In Wednesday’s COVID-19 update, 692 new cases were reported, including 202 variant cases. There are 285 people in hospital
Globe shut down for nearly four months
After the announcement, movie giant Cineplex Odeon said they were frustrated with the province’s decision.
But, it’s also had a debilitating impact on smaller local theatre operators.
Cody Cook, a manager with local Globe Cinema, was disappointed by the delay.
“We were definitely hoping by beginning of April we could reopen,” said Cook.
“It kind of was a blow, too, that they haven’t eased any restrictions.”
Restrictions, put in place in December, have kept Globe Cinema shut down for nearly four months.
Globe Cinema makes revenue off of rentals and film festivals that are hosted at the theatre.
“We try to do a minimun of $10,000 in rentals a month,” said Cook.
Globe Cinema continues to pay property taxes and utilities despite not being open.
It also takes time for a movie theatre to get ready to reopen once they are given the go ahead, according to Cook.
Cook said that there were zero COVID cases over the six months when theatres were allowed to be open.
“That’s the biggest thing that I don’t get. There were zero cases out of every single cinema in Alberta,” said Cook
Globe Cinema followed safety guidelines to combat COVID-19, allowing only one showing a night when they were open.
“Cinemas are really structured; you get your ticket, you go with the people you’re with, sit with the people you’re with, and then leave,” said Cook.
The wait to reopen concerns Cook. He said it could take a couple weeks for the government to reassess.
Globe Cinema would have to take a couple more weeks after that to fully reopen.
“There’s no money, zero money, coming in.”