Entertainment

Cinemark set to reopen Pittsburgh area theaters

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Cineplex

Postmedia Network Cineplex announced Monday it hoped to reopen its B.C. theatres on July 3, 2020, and that it planned to sue the United Kingdom -based Cineworld for pulling out of a takeover deal. The Cineplex deal would have to let it vault past AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.to become the biggest cinema operator in North America.

Cinemark plans to reopen four theaters in the Pittsburgh area in early July.

"As of tomorrow (June 16), it will have been exactly three months since we temporarily closed our network of theatres and entertainment venues, and the day our doors closed was the day our team began diligently preparing for their safe reopening", says Sarah Van Lange, executive director of communications for Cineplex.

"Cineplex believes that Cineworld's allegations represent buyer's remorse, and are an attempt by Cineworld to avoid its obligations under the arrangement agreement in light of the COVID-19 pandemic", the Canadian firm said in a news release.

Like other exhibitors waylaid by the COVID-19 closures, Cineplex has had to undertake widespread temporary layoffs or salary reductions for full- and part-time employees, modify its deals with landlords, and apply for government relief.

-Moviegoers are being encouraged to purchase tickets online and use a contactless payment method, eliminating the need for paper tickets.

Peel Hunt added that social distancing would also favour Cineworld, as the company had "not followed its competitors in reducing capacity in favour of premium seating", which the broker said had been a strategic weakness of the company before the pandemic. Regal said this form of sanitization is effective in disinfecting all materials with a non-toxic formula that is fast drying. Arcade games will also be closed where required by local governances. There will also be no more refills on large drinks or popcorn.

It may take months before new movies are regularly available on all screens at theaters.

So far, there are only a handful of new movies scheduled for theatrical release in July: Russell Crowe's road-rage thriller "Unhinged" on July 10, the rom-com "The Broken Hearts Gallery" and horror film "Saint Maud" on July 17, Disney's live-action "Mulan" on July 24 and Christopher Nolan's "Tenet" on July 31.

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