As cinemas reopen in Nova Scotia, will you go to the movies?

Confirmation… At Last

Yesterday I saw a couple reports that the theatrical experience is returning to our Maritime province, and today it looks confirmed.

On Monday morning a local Cineplex employee posted on Instagram, listing a number of Cineplex Cinemas in the region that will reopen on July 3rd.  He indicated the Scotiabank Theatre in Bayers Lake and the Dartmouth Crossing Cineplex would both open Friday. $5 ticket prices, $2.99 on Tuesdays. There was something there about enhanced cleaning, too.

When I asked the official Cineplex Twitter account about it, this is what I got back.

Sounds like maybe that local employee got the word early and jumped the gun. If that’s the case he’s not the only one. This was published a few days ago on NS Buzz.

And then this dropped this morning on Halifax Today, with Cineplex management quoted. We can now safely assume the multiplex is a go.

What They’re Showing

Features that were in cinemas before the pandemic took hold will return to the big screen on Friday, like the awful Bloodshot and the terrific The Invisible Man, and brand new movies arriving in the weeks to come. It’ll be interesting to see how they socially distance the patrons within the auditoriums, and how much cleaning they’ll be doing.

This while the world’s biggest chain, AMC, postponed opening to the end of July. Most of its operations are in the United States, which has a lot more viral hotspots than we do in Canada right now. AMC doesn’t operate here in Nova Scotia, but it does in other Canadian provinces.

Meanwhile,  I just heard Nova Scotia has its first new case of Covid-19 in three weeks.

The Big Questions

So, what everyone in both the distribution and exhibition side of this business are asking: Will audiences show up? What will it take to get people back in cinemas? Will the lowered ticket prices do it? Will it be Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, expected in August?

Have they considered lowering the wildly inflated prices on the popcorn, where you pay an extra buck for real butter?

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, but I look forward to seeing what happens. If you’re wondering whether I will go, the answer is a definite maybe. If I go I’ll be wearing my mask. If you go I hope you will, too.

Tom Brueggemann at IndieWire in the States wrote something on this that’s very much worth reading.

And, bringing it back to Canada, here’s a CBC item on the subject:

About the author


Carsten Knox is a massive, cheese-eating nerd. In the day he works as a journalist in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At night he stares out at the rain-slick streets, watches movies, and writes about what he's seeing.