Locals craving the in-theatre summer blockbuster experience will have to wait a little while longer to visit Galaxy Cinemas in North Bay.
In acknowledging parent company Cineplex would keep the North Bay operation closed while 25 other locations open across Ontario today, Sarah Van Lange, executive director of communications for Cineplex promises North Bay won't be far behind, and it will be just a matter of weeks — without a major shift in provincial reopening directives — until Galaxy Cinemas North Bay can begin popping the corn and welcoming cinephiles.
"We very much look forward to opening our doors to North Bay movie-lovers soon. We're taking a phased approach," advises Van Lange. "The wait won't be long, it will be in the next few weeks. We all miss the wonder of the big screen and are in need of a safe and social night out with friends and family."
Asked why the Cineplex affiliate SilverCity Cinemas is set to reopen despite the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Greater Sudbury but not in North Bay — now in its fourth week without a confirmed case — Van Lange says the criteria used to determine those first 25 reopening locations did focus on "theatres that have traditionally higher attendance levels," adding the "wait won't be long and we'll have news to share soon."
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, North Bay Galaxy Cinemas has been closed for over four months. In March, Cineplex President Ellis Jacob announced the company's entertainment venues would be temporarily closing based on "guidance from multiple public health authorities, including recent government directives and the escalating dangers of community spread."
Cineplex says it is reopening its theatres — in concert with public health advice — in select regions and reopening more locations as government authorities allow and advises there are new health and safety procedures for guests to follow.
The movie theatre chain will be permitted to sell 50 tickets per auditorium, where physical distancing allows and attendees will be required to wear face coverings in communities under mandatory orders.