Hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, cinemas in Quebec have seen attendance and box office revenues fall by 70% since January.
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Unveiled Wednesday morning, the most recent data from the Observatoire de la culture et des communications du Québec demonstrate the extent of the impact of COVID-19. Between January 3 and August 6, the number of admissions fell 69.8% compared to the same period in 2019.
For revenue, the drop is even more significant, to 71.4%.
Room owners contacted by The newspaper They are all the more in a hurry to receive the financial assistance that was promised to them by the Government of Quebec and that they consider crucial to support them in their recovery.
“It is not going at the speed we would like, but it is moving forward,” says Robin Plamondon, who operates the two Le Clap cinemas in Quebec.
The aftermath of the crisis will be painful. Vincent Guzzo estimates that it will take him “between five and ten years” to recover the shortfall of the crisis in the cinemas which bear his name.
“We calculate from one year to one and a half years of catching up per month of closure. We easily have seven years before we get through it, ”said Mr. Plamondon.
Industry in danger
Mr. Guzzo does not believe, however, that the main movie chains in the province are in danger, as is currently the case in the United States, where big players in the industry are facing bankruptcy.
“In Quebec, if theaters are closing, it is because they already had problems before COVID. “
Little glimmer of hope, the last two days before closing, at the end of September, were the busiest since the reopening in July, at Clap. “It’s a sign that our customers have confidence,” says Robin Plamondon.
A drastic drop in starters and receipts *
- Entries from 1er January to August 8, 2019: 11 452 061
- Entries from 1er January to August 6, 2020: 3,457,478 (- 69.8%)
- Recipes from 1er January to August 8, 2019: $ 96,348,959
- Recipes from 1er January to August 6, 2020: $ 27,569,648 (- 71.4%)
* : Quebec cinemas had to close their doors in mid-March to reopen them on July 3 in compliance with health rules. The absence of blockbusters Americans also hurt operators.