Hearing that Ontario theatres will reopen starting next Friday (July 16), was a pinch-me moment that had us squealing with excitement. Who else has been dreaming of the big screen? The plush seats? The popcorn? We’ve been so eager to return that we’ve been fantasizing about listening to people crinkle a wrapper, or slurp a pop.

Cineplex shared in a press release that Ontario theatres will open with enhanced safety and cleaning measures and a 50% capacity to a maximum of 1,000 guests per building. Reserved seating will be in effect in every auditorium, and Cineplex encourages guests to use their contactless purchase and entry methods

It’s been a long wait for movie lovers, and even longer for theatre workers. Next week, 68 Cineplex theatres across Ontario, that have been shut for months on end, will open—that’s a whole lot of jobs that were put on pause. 

“Our team has been waiting for this day and are thrilled that next week we will finally be able to reopen our doors in Ontario,” said Ellis Jacob, President and CEO, Cineplex. “We can now enjoy movies the way that they’re meant to be seen, with Cineplex providing the escape of the big screen and big sound that we have all been missing for so long.” 

To kick off opening weekend, Cineplex has a hot lineup of new releases including Black Widow, F9 The Fast Saga, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, A Quiet Place Part II, Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, The Forever Purge and The Boss Baby: Family Business. Later this week they will be rolling out more titles. 

Of course, today’s news also means that local independent cinemas will also reopen. We’re excited to hit up all of our favourite theatres, to enjoy everything from Hollywood blockbusters to micro-budget indie films. 

There’s nothing that compares to the energy that comes with watching a film with a live audience. Even when there are less people in the seats, it is still a shared experience, and one that we’ve dearly missed and are so desperately craving.