A person wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past the independent Rio Theatre, displaying a COVID-19 related message on its marquee in Vancouver on Sunday, December 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A person wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past the independent Rio Theatre, displaying a COVID-19 related message on its marquee in Vancouver on Sunday, December 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Canada’s movie theatre association calls out ‘absurdity’ of B.C. theatres closures

Vancouver’s Rio Theatre is moving forward with plans to reopen on Saturday

A trade organization representing Canada’s movie theatres is calling on British Columbia health officials to explain why cinemas in the province can only open if they’re operating as restaurants or bars.

Nuria Bronfman, executive director of the Movie Theatre Association of Canada, says COVID-19 guidelines that allow theatres to project sporting events on the big screen, but not movies, “highlights the kind of absurdity of what’s happening” in the province.

The frustration comes as B.C. leaders allow restaurants and bars to stay open, but forced movie theatres to close last November.

Vancouver’s Rio Theatre is moving forward with plans to reopen on Saturday by pivoting its business to operate as a bar. The city’s Hollywood Theatre made a similar move in December.

READ MORE: With B.C. movie theatres closed, Rio indie cinema says it will reopen as a sports bar

Both rebrandings were applauded by the province’s health ministry in a statement that recognized “the arts and culture sector who have worked hard to find new ways to reinvent themselves during the pandemic.”

Bronfman says the movie theatre group takes issue with suggestions that movie theatres should be embracing “ingenuity in order to survive.”

“We’re not getting the answers as to why we can’t open,” she says.

“There’s a level of frustration and quite frankly desperation.”

David Friend, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Entertainment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Get used to visiting Whitewater Ski Resort during the summer. It’s adding off-season programming thanks to a provincial grant. File photo
Province grants Whitewater $1m for summer rec plans

The ski resort will expand its mountain biking, hiking and climbing options

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

School District 8 is considering moving some programs out of Central School to make more room. Photo: Tyler Harper
SD8 considers moving Wildflower classes, REACH program out of Central School

The district says the building is set to operate over capacity in the fall

A emergency response team assisted the RCMP in apprehending a woman in Kaslo who was barricaded in her house on March 1. File photo
RCMP apprehend woman barricaded in Kaslo house

The woman had been writing threatening messages about taking hostages, police say

The news is very funny to us.
VIDEO: Wednesday Roundup

Reporter Bill Metcalfe and his sidekick Tyler Harper freestyle the news

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

COVID-19 vaccines were available at a site on East Pender in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside Feb. 25. (Twitter/Sarahblyth17)
Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside residents offered $5 after getting COVID-19 vaccine

It’s an effort to ‘incentivize people to engage,’ says B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix

</p>
A survey by Statistics Canada finds Black Canadians earn less than non-visible minority Canadians despite having higher levels of education. (The Canadian Press file photo)
COVID-19 worsened unemployment picture for Black Canadians

Black Canadians also more likely to suffer other hardships

On June 23, 2020, Sunrise Rotary announced it will be donating $50,000 in support of the Bridge Youth and Family Services for the construction of the “Okanagan Youth Recovery House” project for young people under the age of 19 who are experiencing addiction. (Contributed)
Interior Health adds 10 youth substance-use treatment beds in the Okanagan

The Bridge Youth and Family Services will operate the beds

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. teacher transferred then suspended after students report feeling ‘scared, nervous’

Authorities found that teacher did not create inviting, respectful environment for students

Victoria’s Swartz Bay terminal. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries offers cheaper, prepaid fare options

Ferry service preparing for busy terminals when travel restrictions are lifted

FILE - Dolly Parton arrives at the 61st annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Grammy-winning singer, actor and humanitarian posted a video on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, of her singing just before getting her COVID-19 vaccine shot. Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee for coronavirus research. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
‘Vaccine, vaccine’: Dolly sings ‘Jolene’ rewrite before shot

The Grammy-winning legend turned 75 this year

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland speaks about the Fiscal update during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID-19: Wage and rent subsidies, lockdown support to be extended until June

Chrystia Freeland says now is not time to lower levels of support

Most Read