Caribbean Cinemas at Giftland Mall unable reopen; calls for review of COVID guidelines

Last Updated on Saturday, 31 July 2021, 13:13 by Denis Chabrol

Caribbean Cinemas, which is located at Giftland Mall, on Saturday said it would be unable to reopen because the new COVID-19 prohibits the consumption of food inside the theatre.

“Caribbean Cinemas will be unable to reopen in the Giftland Mall since, unlike other businesses, the cinemas were asked to maintain the restriction on selling food,” the company said.

The Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara enterprise called on government to review and overtirn its decision to block eating at cinemas.

Caribbean Cinemas urges the Government to reconsider this position, as eating in cinemas with appropriate social distancing and facing away from one another while eating poses a far less health risk than common dining or even prevailing circumstances encountered in everyday Guyanese life. The decision to not allow food which is a necessity for a cinematic experience is regrettable and we are kindly requesting a review of this position by the authorities,” Caribbean Cinemas said.

Even when the occupancy rate has been reduced to 40%, the company said that opening without the sale of snacks and beverages is not what customers expect when going to the movies.

The business entity is challenging the wisdom behind disallowing food inside cinemas because attendees do not constantly talk as patrons at bars and restaurants.

“In the cinemas, the patrons are seated, facing the screen, and not talking while watching a movie. Customers are also required to put back their masks as soon as they are finished eating their snacks at the cinemas,” Caribbean Cinemas said.

Caribbean Cinemas said it regretted that decision but it was eager to bring to Guyana the Summer releases which are being well received elsewhere. 

The business entity also said Guyana’s COVID-19 rules are inconsistent with those in other countries such as Canada, and neighboring countries like Antigua, St. Lucia, French Guiana and Suriname when it comes to the opening of cinemas.

“As a matter of fact, wherever restaurants are open around the globe today under Covid-19 restrictions, Cinemas are open and selling snacks and food,” Caribbean Cinemas added.

That entertainment enterprise said there is no science anywhere that a person going to a movie theatre is at greater risk than going to a bar, restaurant, or club.