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Movie theatre, libraries, gallery reopen

The matinees at Landmark Cinemas in north St. Albert were all lineups and smiles for the return to the big screen experience.

There were lineups at the movie houses once more as the province moved into Stage 2 of its Open for Summer Plan. Entertainment venues that had closed for the second time in December 2020 were allowed to reopen again on Thursday after their six-month hibernations. 

That means people such as Sara Hurton and Jessica Green finally got to see A Quiet Place: Part II on the big screen at St. Albert’s Landmark Cinemas at Jensen Lakes.

“I haven't been in the movie theatre since COVID,” Hurton said Thursday, saying she watched a great many movies in her home theatre. “Too many.”

“I'm excited to get in,” Green said, adding their movie of choice for the slightly foggy, late-spring matinee showing was originally slated for release in 2020. COVID-19 put that one on a new schedule, as it did for so many other movies and movie-house patrons.

Now A Quiet Place 2 can finally have its silver-screen moment. It was on the marquee for this past weekend, as were blockbuster titles such as In the Heights, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, and even holdover Godzilla vs. Kong. Spirit Untamed, Peter Rabbit 2, and Cruella are there for family audiences, while Demon Slayer – the Movie: Mugen Train might have more appeal with the late teen/young adult audiences.

The special occasion also allowed the theatre to finally debut its new Laser Ultra experience: a state-of-the-art sound and projection immersion. A Landmark press release proclaims it will offer superior image quality with exceptional brightness level, increased contrast ratio, and vivid colours for a radically improved RealD 3D movie experience, with breathtaking DOLBY Atmos sound quality that “puts movie-goers in the action.” 

“It's obviously exciting. It's been a long road since December,” said Bill Walker, CEO of Landmark Cinemas. “It'll be good to actually have some people sitting in those seats again.”

As a movie fan, he expressed his combined dismay and understanding that Canada had to miss so many big-screen event movies such as Godzilla vs. Kong when they were originally intended for wide release. Thankfully, it’s still there for people to see what he’s talking about.

“There's been lots of movies missed and some movies have had to make their decisions to go on different routes, but ultimately, there's still a big backlog of great content that's ready and waiting for theatres. We think this is our last opening, and we'll be able to stay open now.”

He said it looks like there will be many great movies hitting the theatres for the summer ahead, adding that anyone who still has concerns about their health and safety while watching a movie should visit Landmark’s Movies Are Better Together web page. 

More doors reopening

Movie theatres, casinos, museums, galleries, and libraries are now free to open as long as they keep attendance at 30 per cent of fire-code capacity.

The St. Albert Public Library reopened its downtown main library space on Monday, while its Jensen Lakes branch followed suit on Tuesday. This means a resumption of in-person and inside holds pickups, book browsing, public computer access, printing and copying, staff help, and limited seating. 

Curbside Pickup service will continue uninterrupted at the branch location, while it ended on Friday at the main location. Face coverings are still mandatory in library facilities, and free masks are available. Other safety protocols are still in place.

Arts and Heritage St. Albert also announced this week would be a big one. Starting on Tuesday, the Musée Héritage Museum, the Art Gallery of St. Albert, the Historic River Lots at the St. Albert Grain Elevator Park, and the Little White School can see foot traffic through their doors once again. Operating hours have been reduced and extensive COVID-19 safety protocols will continue to be in effect to keep both visitors and staff members safe. Attendees should visit its website at to learn more.

Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Scott Hayes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ecology and Environment Reporter at the Fitzhugh Newspaper since July 2022 under Local Journalism Initiative funding provided by News Media Canada.
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