There was no rush by patrons and movie lovers on Wednesday as cinemas resumed operations.
When Guardian Media visited MovieTowne Port-of-Spain yesterday to see what was the atmosphere, we were told that 51 tickets were sold in total for the first three shows at the re-opened theatre yesterday.
“So far it has been quite good, at least you know a few people for each of the 2 o’clock movies,” said Lisa Sadler, the Marketing Manager for the Cineplex.
“Patrons have been there very excited about being able to come out, and have their popcorn enjoy a movie or some relax time, unwind, you know, and have fun”, she said.
She, however, admitted that the initial numbers were still below what they were hoping to see upon resuming operations.
“It’s a little below but I would have thought because especially with the Greenland movie, but I think after work people would start coming, we would have a better crowd,”
Up to 5 pm yesterday, the numbers were still relatively low and far less than the 50 per cent capacity allowed for the cinemas.
Despite this, Sadler said staff members were also pleased to be back out to work.
“Very excited because a lot of them have been out for a little while. So everybody’s very excited about, you know, getting back here looking after our patrons, having them have a good time,” she said adding that all things considered it was a good day back on the job.
“The day has been good, we have all been very excited when our PM tells us we can sell food and in the concessions because we all know that movies and popcorn go hand in hand. So today, so far, so good and hopefully we get more and more and better response as the week and the weekend comes along.”
Sadler explained that the theatre had to place additional time in between shows for further sanitization of the cinemas.
Rows were also labelled so that seating would only be allowed one row apart.
“It’s every other row in the cinema that you can sit. Families groups and so can sit together, but you must make sure that two seats are kept between each party,” Sadler said.
Cinemas were closed in August after the second wave of infections and confirmation of Community spread prompted renewed restrictions on various industries including bars and cinemas.
Despite being given the green light to reopen two weeks ago, the major cinema chains across the country opted not to open due to being unable to sell food at the concession stands.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley lifted that restriction on food but urged moviegoers to only remove their masks when eating.