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Bridgewater Mayor hopeful closing of theatre can be stopped

By Evan Taylor Mar 18, 2024 | 12:49 PM

Cineplex Theatres in Bridgewater NS. CKBW File Photo.

When news broke that Cineplex would be ceasing its operations in Bridgewater it was met with disappointment from members of the community, including Mayor David Mitchell who is hopeful this isn’t the end for the big screen in Bridgewater.

“I’m still waiting to hear back from Cineplex management after I reached out last week, which I understand since I had a lot of questions,” said Mitchell.

Confirmation has been provided that Cineplex plans to cease operations after April 29th, but no further information has been provided so far.

“We want to help find solutions if possible,” Mitchell said, noting that he suggested the town could help find a developer who may be able to alter the existing theatre into one that is more suitable for the market.

“Seven cinemas is a lot, and since COVID many theatres have changed their spaces to offer more activities with enhanced dining spaces, larger arcades or even things like a rock climbing wall,” said Mitchell.

An avid movie goes himself Mitchell understands that movie viewing habits have changed, and are a likely reason the theatre intends to shutter. “We told people they couldn’t go to theatres for years during COVID, and during that time people’s viewing habits have changed,”.

Mitchell says the town has limited options in what it can do to support Cineplex in changing its decision, but is open to speaking with their management to better understand the factors leading to its decision and explore options.

“As really the only major cinema operators in Atlantic Canada if Cineplex doesn’t want to operate here it will be up to the property owners to find another use for the building,” said Mitchell.

The property is owned by Crombie, the real estate division of Sobeys.

We’ve reached out to Crombie for comment but at the time of publication had not received a response.