Caribbean Cinemas says unable to reopen at Giftland because of ‘no food and drinks’ rule

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Caribbean Cinemas, which operates out of Giftland Mall, on Saturday said although the new COVID-19 guidelines allow it to reopen at 40% capacity from Sunday, it will be unable to do so because of the restriction for patrons not to eat or drink in the cinemas.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

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

It added: “In comparison to other businesses like bars and restaurants, where people are constantly talking, 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.”

The cinema company said it regrets the decision taken and are eager to bring to Guyana the Summer releases which are being well received elsewhere.

The company said wherever restaurants are open around the globe today under Covid-19 restrictions, Cinemas are open and selling snacks and food. This includes England, Canada, and neighboring countries like Antigua, St. Lucia, French Guiana and Suriname, it 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. If anything, it is considered safer,” Caribbean Cinemas stated.

It is urging 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.”

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