MONTREAL -- After months of COVID-19-related shutdowns, most cinemas across Quebec are reopening their doors on Friday with Quebec content dominating the listings. 

Film production was largely impacted by the pandemic over the past few months, resulting in a lack of movies for cinemas to screen once public health gave them the green light to reopen.

A group composed of cinema owners, film producers and distributors in Quebec decided to create a program of locally-made films – both older ones and those whose scheduled screenings were cut short due to the pandemic.

“We hope that Quebecers will be there to support their favourite cinema and watch our films from here,” said Alexandre Huburtise, the committee’s coordinator, in a statement. “In this period of revival, the province’s cinemas are fortunate to be able to count on the collaboration of Quebec distributors who are offering a wide range of films on such rich, local cinematography.” 

Some Quebecois classics that will be screened include Bon cop, Bad cop and Les Boys. July 10 will see a new release called Suspect numero un, an action-thriller lead by Antoine Olivier Pilon. 

Until further notice, health regulations limit capacity for each theatre to 50 spectators, with a distance of two seats between each person except those who live together. Handwashing stations will be available and people will be asked to maintain two metres of distance from others in common areas. 

“We are confident that we will be able to welcome moviegoers in a safe and comfortable environment to offer them an entertaining experience this summer,” said Éric Bouchard, president of la Corporation des salles de cinema du Quebec in a statement. “It is important to note that cinemas play a unique role in the social and cultural fabric of Quebec. In many municipalities in the province, cinemas are the only place for cultural gathering.”