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Movie theaters slowed down

Movie theaters slowed down

Quebec’s movie community is feeling devastated by the announcement of theater closures at a time when attendance at cinemas in the province has returned to pre-pandemic levels. “We are cutting the carpet from under our feet,” the movie theater owners lament.

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Ironically, after experiencing the highest-grossing weekend at the box office in nearly two years, theater operators learned they had to close their doors on Mondays for an indefinite period. Released last Friday, the new movie of the saga Spider Man It got off to a fast start, collecting more than $2.5 million at the Quebec box office: a climax since the pandemic began. “We worked hard to bring audiences back to theaters, and there we lost track of our momentum,” laments the Co-President of the Film Society of Quebec, Eric Bouchard.

Since theaters reopened last February, we’ve been growing slowly, but surely. It took us a big movie for people to be like, “Wow, here we go.” This is what happened over the weekend with Spider Man. The results of the weekend allowed us to dream about a great holiday season. But there it is, poof! We have to stop everything. It’s disastrous. “

In keeping with his reputation, Guzzo Cinemas president Vincent Guzzo stepped up after Monday’s announcement, criticizing (still) the lack of clarity on the Legault government.

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“It’s a complete hobby,” he said. We don’t even know when we closed our doors. I, I have to answer the bankers now. Shall I tell them I’m closed for two weeks? Month ? eight months? And what do I tell my employees? In addition, I have just opened a new cinema. It’s a complete mess. Does not make sense. It is a complete contradiction. “

Robin Blamondon, general manager of Le Clap Cinema in Quebec City, took the liberty of throwing an arrow at François Legault: “I wonder where our prime minister is today. That’s a piece of information he should have made public. It’s still big, there are thousands of culture workers out of work.” Two days before Christmas. He deserved to be the most reliable person in Quebec.”

This new theatrical closure also affects distributors who have chosen to release new films for the holiday season. This is particularly the case with Christian Laroche, who spent a few hundred thousand dollars organizing the campaign to promote the comedy. goodbye happiness, Friday show.

“It’s a blow to the club, Mr. LeRoche falls. After just three and a half days, I find myself compelled to remove my film from the screens. The sums I spent on promotion are money I will never see again. I reassure myself by telling myself that the same thing happened The goddess of fire is flying last year and that the film was successfully re-released when theaters reopened a few months later. “

The middle is also crossed between the fingers so that this new closure does not last as long as the previous one. During the second wave, in the fall of 2020, theaters in Montreal and Quebec City were closed for five months.

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“We don’t know how long, but we were told it was at least until January 10, Eric Bouchard’s slips. Fortunately, the government said it would help us. We are glad to know because this shutdown is another big blow to take.”