Confident of being able to re-open its 20 movie theaters by the beginning of the summer, Robin Plamondon, co-owner and general manager of the cinema The Clap, qualifies as “unfair competition,” the idea of the mayor Labeaume to resurrect drive-ins free.
“It is competition for us, which is very difficult to accept. We are in a period where we’re going to have to make magic with our businesses to reopen and succeed to be profitable. We don’t really need competition extra current. Especially not in the city”, he regretted, on Thursday.
According to him, “if you offer a service for “free” to the population, but that is paid for by taxes, it comes to compete with businesses that pay these taxes-there. It is the unfair competition.”
Even if the municipality was to only broadcast old movies in drive-ins, this would be resolved nothing to the already precarious situation of the rooms, he believes. “Let’s say the City decides to distribute coffee for free in its parks this summer to make people happy. Even if this coffee is as good as at Tim Hortons, there would be an impact on the industry”, has imaged Mr. Plamondon, stressing the importance of the summer period for the cinema.
No approach for the moment
At Cineplex, the spokeswoman Katie Rankin has indicated that there has been “no approach with the City” about the possibility to use the parking lots of the company for the drive-ins.
That said, “we are motivated by the fact that the City also shares our love for the cinema. We are excited to reopen our rooms when the provincial government as well as the health officials will tell us that it is safe,” she mentioned.
The side of Jean-François Gosselin, head of Quebec 21, the idea of drive-ins is a qualified “good” to the extent that it is accepted by the public Health and that it may be done “in collaboration” with the owners of movie theaters.
Caution to the public Health
Questioned on the subject, François Desbiens, director of public Health in the National Capital, has confirmed that he has had discussions with the City, Wednesday, about the drive-ins.
Recalling the rules currently in force, the doctor has returned to the municipal administration of the plan déconfinement which will be announced next week by the government Legault. It is only then that we will know if this type of activity may or may not be considered, he noted.
“It is necessary that the Cities are working on activities that will allow people to have fun outside of their basement. Yes, it could be a good idea, but the conditions of enforcement must be specific and known. It is necessary that it falls within the plan of déconfinement”, he estimated.