Cineplex announces ‘Private Movie Nights’ with up to 20 guests per theatre

The Cineplex Odeon Theatre at Yonge and Eglinton in Toronto on December 16, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Ever since COVID-19 disrupted our lives and made everyday leisure activities almost impossible, it’s been tough to unwind, especially with a larger group of friends and family. It appears there’s now another option for those feeling cooped up.

On Friday, Cineplex announced “Private Movie Nights” — a new private screening offering that provides Canadians across the country with a way to watch their favourite movie on the big screen. (It doesn’t have to be nighttime, either. This is also available during the day.)

Just in time for the holidays — starting at $125 for groups of up to 20 guests — Canadians can rent a private auditorium and select a movie out of more than 1,000 available titles.

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Seeking to satisfy every cinematic craving, Cineplex is offering new and current releases, classics and of course, holiday favourites.

“Going to the movies is a holiday tradition for so many Canadians, and we are delighted to offer a safe and welcoming place for families and friends to keep their traditions alive through the magic of the movie theatre experience,” said Ellis Jacob, president and CEO of Cineplex.

“Health and safety remain our top priority today and throughout this entire pandemic, and I couldn’t be prouder of how hard our local theatre teams have worked to keep Canadians safe since our reopening. ‘Private Movie Nights’ are an affordable way for families, friends, and other groups to safely gather and celebrate the season.”

Canada’s biggest theatre chain has had a rough ride with the coronavirus, forcing it to deal with a constantly changing Hollywood release schedule — delays on big movies have left a major dent in the company’s stock price, which has tumbled over the last several months.

Cineplex is also dealing with the fallout of U.K. movie exhibitor Cineworld Group PLC walking away on June 12 from a $2.8-billion deal to buy the company. The Canadian company has filed a lawsuit against its former suitor over the failed deal that it expects will begin court proceedings in September 2021.

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Perhaps most damaging has been the shuttering of theatres; in August, Cineplex reported a 95 per cent revenue drop.

Still, with tightened cleaning and disinfecting regulations at all open theatres, Cineplex has hosted thousands of film screenings with no reported or confirmed transmissions of COVID-19. According to the Global Cinema Federation, there have been no outbreaks traced to movie theatres anywhere in the world.

Private Movie Nights are currently not available wherever Cineplex theatres are temporarily closed. A company representative confirmed that once the closed theatre reopens, the option will then become available.

You can book your Private Movie Night by visiting the official Cineplex site.

With files from The Canadian Press

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