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Cineplex wants more bums in seats

Executives at Cineplex Inc. are urging the Ontario government to loosen restrictions over how many people can occupy its cinemas at a single time.

Dan McGrath, chief operating officer of the Canadian movie theatre chain, says the company has been in conversations with the province’s health ministry in hopes of revising limits to allow 50 moviegoers inside a single auditorium.

“We need that capacity in order to allow us to, at least, be profitable.”

Cineplex has reopened 36 locations in provinces where distancing measures are less restrictive, introducing new seating arrangements to meet guidelines and boosting its cleaning procedures, but its Ontario theatres remain closed.

Landmark Cinemas and Imagine Cinemas, two other chains that operate a number of multiplexes, have kept their theatres closed in the province as well.

However, some of the Ontario’s single-screen independent theatres have restarted screenings over the past week, including cinemas in Kingston and Waterloo.

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