Cinémas Guzzo theatres reopen, as Quebec relaxes rules for pandemic

But popcorn and snacks won’t be sold in Laval or Montreal until June 7

Following the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown which kept most movie theatres in the province closed since last year, Vincenzo Guzzo, President and CEO of Cinémas Guzzo, has announced the reopening of all Cinémas Guzzo theatres, in accordance with provincial health and safety guidelines.

The owner of the largest independent chain of movie theatres in Quebec, and a “Dragon” on CBC Television’s entrepreneurially-focused show Dragons’s Den, says moviegoers will finally be able to enjoy the complete experience Cinémas Guzzo offers its guests in all nine of its locations throughout the province.

End of confinement

Mega-Plex Marché Central 18 (IMAX,) Mega-Plex Taschereau 18 (IMAX,) Mega-Plex Lacordaire 16, Mega-Plex Pont-Viau 16 (IMAX,) Mega-Plex Lacordaire 16, Mega-Plex Terrebonne 14 (IMAX,) Mega-Plex Jacques-Cartier 15, Mega-Plex Deux Montagnes 14 (IMAX,) and Cinéma Guzzo des Sources (IMAX) will once again greet movie goers with feature films.

Additionally, according to Guzzo, later this summer the ever-popular movie theatre chain’s new state-of-the-art Mega-Plex Saint-Jean 12 will be inaugurated on Montreal’s South Shore.

“I’m confident people will return to cinemas as they are tired of being confined mainly to their homes and they crave that special moviegoing experience,” Guzzo said in a statement. “There is simply nothing like seeing a good movie on a big screen.

Long-awaited reopening

“We’ve been closed since late September of last year and from the overwhelming feedback we’ve received, it’s clear that our loyal customers are anxiously awaiting our reopening and it will be an honour to welcome them back,” he added.

“I’m also excited to announce that our tenth theatre will soon open in the community of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and it will feature Giulietta Pizzeria,” Guzzo said.

Following official health and safety measures, each Cinémas Guzzo auditorium will be allowed a maximum of two hundred and fifty guests, while maintaining the required physical distancing. Furthermore, government-approved air filtration systems and disinfection protocols will be in place.

Some restrictions ‘til June 7

Guzzo wasn’t waiting for Laval or Montreal to become Orange pandemic zones to reopen his theatres. Although the government decreed a general relaxation of the curfew beginning on May 28, Laval and Montreal still remain under some Red zone restrictions, such as the sale of popcorn and other snacks in theatres, until June 7.

“I am a little disappointed because I was hoping to reopen my food counters at the same time as my theatres, beginning on May 28,” he told a Montreal daily last week. “But I understand the situation and I can live with it.”

I’m confident people will return to cinemas as they are tired of being confined,’ says chain owner Vince Guzzo

However, Montreal’s South Shore, as well as the Laurentian and Lanaudière regions, entered Orange zone status beginning on May 31, meaning that Cinémas Guzzo was able to reopen the snack concessions at its theatres there.

Waited until now

Since February, only theatres in Orange and Yellow zones have had the right to sell snacks to customers. It was for that reason that Cinémas Guzzo had decided in February not to reopen its theatres, since the loss of revenue from the food concessions made reopening before then impractical.

Vince Guzzo is widely regarded as a seasoned entrepreneur, with a diverse portfolio of businesses that includes his multi-theatre chain, restaurants, a construction company, an e-commerce gourmet food platform, and a personal fashion brand called “Mr. Sunshine.”

A true ‘Dragon’

In addition to these business successes, in 2007 he and his wife, Maria, established the Guzzo Foundation to centralize their philanthropic endeavours, through which they have raised millions of dollars to support medical research aimed at the prevention of cancer and the support of mental health initiatives.

As well, his role as a “Dragon” on CBC’s wildly popular and internationally syndicated Dragons’s Den program has provided Vince Guzzo with a platform to share his personal insights on entrepreneurialism, while giving entrepreneurial guidance to people around the world.