Moviegoers will experience the new normal at cinemas today and tomorrow as social distancing and hygiene protocols will be enforced.
MovieTowne in Port of Spain and Chaguanas will be the first to open today with a whole new sanitised set-up after it was announced on Saturday by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley that cinemas would be allowed to reopen their doors on Monday, in accordance with guidelines set out by the Ministry of Health.
MovieTowne’s events and entertainment manager, Heathcliff West, gave the Express a walk-through as to what has been put in place during the 14-week lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“We have modified eating arrangements to allow physical distancing of six feet apart between families/groups of patrons on either side and by skipping rows as recommended by the Health Ministry, while ushers will also be required to monitor and maintain the physical distancing requirements,” West said.
“Cleaning frequency has been increased on high contact points, such as door handles, counters, kiosks, doors and railings.”– Caribbean Cinemas
He said hand-sanitising stations have been installed around the premises, including the main entrance, along with plexiglass partitions to separate cashiers from customers, and markers have been placed on the ground.
Questioned on whether the full complement of staff would be back out, West said: “Because of the 50 per cent occupancy capacity, not all workers could have been brought back immediately, but as things start to settle staff would be rehired.”
He said while there have been no new movie releases due to the pandemic, patrons can expect a combination of some recent movies and “movies we love”, which entails classics.
“The classics are free so patrons will just purchase a combo and then get to see the movie. It’s one initiative that is being done to encourage people back into the cinema,” West said.
And Caribbean Cinemas in Trincity will reopen its doors tomorrow.
“It will be mandatory taking temperature at the entrance, also once inside, the use of face masks for patrons and employees is required.
“There are hand-sanitising stations around the lobby area. Clients will also find signage with the new guidelines about the protocol in rest rooms, lobby areas and auditoriums.
“Acrylic panels have been installed in ticket booth and concession areas to protect employees and patrons.
“Cleaning frequency has been increased on high contact points, such as door handles, counters, kiosks, doors and railings,” Caribbean Cinemas said in a statement.
It said to minimise contact areas inside the theatres, patrons will have the option to purchase tickets and concession items online.
“When purchasing online, patrons will receive a confirmation code that would grant access entrance after being scanned by one of the ushers and could also pick up their concession items with minimum contact and no handling of cash or debit/credit cards.”
And Digicel Imax in Port of Spain announced on its Facebook page that the establishment will be reopened on July 2.
Reproduced from the Trinidad Express