Mayfair Theatre reopens as Ottawa enters COVID-19 orange zone
OTTAWA -- The show is back on at The Mayfair Theatre now that the COVID-19 lockdown and stay-at-home order are over.
The theatre on Bank Street has opened its doors once again during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is our third lockdown, the third time we've reopened. You know what, our staff is pretty used to the new normal," said Lee Demarbre, part-owner of The Mayfair Theatre.
"It feels particularly safe coming into The Mayfair because we have such a large auditorium. We're only allowed 50 people in the theatre, we have 90 safe seats, so I feel like we're extra safe."
The Mayfair Theatre was forced to close on Dec. 26 when the Ontario government imposed a lockdown on Ottawa and all of Ontario.
Under the "Orange-Restrict" COVID-19 measures in Ontario's COVID-19 reopening framework, movie theatres are allowed to reopen with a maximum capacity of 50 people inside.
During an interview on Newstalk 580 CFRA's Ottawa Now with Kristy Cameron on Friday, Demarbre was asked if there is an appetite for people to be together to watch a movie during the pandemic.
"I think The Mayfair has sort of a sophisticated audience. We don't have to tell people not to text because its movie church so they know not to text. You're not at The Mayfair to check the social media, they're there to watch a movie and be serious about it," said Demarbre.
"For the same reason, we don't have to tell (guests) to wear their masks; they know to wear their masks. We have the signs up, but we never have the problem. People come; they know to be safe, they know to be social distanced – it doesn't feel like a playground."
The Mayfair Theatre has three movies a day scheduled for the rest of February.
The Mayfair Theatre was forced to close at the start of the pandemic back in March 2020, again when Ottawa moved into a four-week shutdown in October and then the winter lockdown between Dec. 26 and Feb. 16.
"We're doing alright, we're just getting by. I don't know how many more of these lockdowns we can survive," said Demarbre. "Our landlord's been very understanding, we've been getting some kickbacks from the government and that I think lets us see a realistic future."