Pitt Meadows cinephiles may not be able to see new releases on the big screen right now, but at least they are able to munch on movie theatre treats while enjoying their favourite films at home.
Hollywood 3 Cinema on Lougheed Highway and Harris Road has been selling fresh, salty, buttery popcorn to fans of the tasty snack since shortly after they were forced to close their doors due to provincial COVID-19 regulations last November.
Owner Moby Amarsi said the theatre has been opening from 4-8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings.
“It’s been keeping the staff busy a little bit,” he said.
“And we’ve had some good response from the community.”
While the popcorn has added a few bucks to the coffers, and provided staff with a few hours work each week, it is hardly keeping the theatre afloat.
Amarsi, who owns four additional theatres in the Lower Mainland, said if it was not for subsidies, he might have been forced to call it quits.
“If it wasn’t for the government’s help I think a lot of theatre owners would have closed their doors and left the business,” he said.
“As small business owners, we don’t have huge cash reserves, so we’re all month to month, and if you get a couple of bad months it takes a while to recover.”
After four months of shut doors, Amarsi said he can see some light at the end of the tunnel, but does not think people will be rushing back to theatres.
“I think we’re probably going to be open by summer, but I don’t think we’ll be anywhere close to to where we were pre-COVID,” he said.
“So we’re just hanging in there, hoping things will improve.”
The Pitt Meadows cinema, like many small theatres across the province, is an important building for many, Amarsi pointed out.
“A lot of people have good memories here. They have watched their favourite movies, and spent time with family and loved ones.
“A lot of first dates,” he said, chuckling.
Pitt Meadows residents can drop by the cinema on the weekends to get themselves a tub of popcorn, or can order the snack on SkipTheDishes.
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