Documentary fans can soon return home as Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema will be reopening its doors September 10. The news of the cinema’s reopening came today after a long precautionary closure amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The doors of Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema were shut for nearly 18 months, but the theatre quickly made a successful pivot with the Hot Docs at Home series early in the pandemic and kept doc fans occupied with a steady stream of docs. The theatre’s reopening will kick off with a theatrical run of Morgan Neville’s acclaimed Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain.
“We’re very excited to open our doors and welcome our audiences back to the Cinema for live screenings again,” said Hot Docs managing director Alan Black, in a statement. “We’ve put together a program we know our audiences will love. So many great films came out this year that we’ve wanted to show but they really deserve to be seen on a big screen, so we’ve been waiting until our reopening. We’re so looking forward to welcoming our community back to share in the collective experience of watching a really powerful film together.”
In addition to Roadrunner, Hot Docs will screen a number of 2021 most acclaimed documentaries that non-fiction fans have been eager to see on the big screen. The first films playing the festival include Questlove’s Sundance award winner Summer of Soul, the scrumptious The Truffle Hunters, the art doc The Lost Leonardo, and this year’s Rogers Canadian Audience Award winner at Hot Docs, Fanny: The Right to Rock. The cinema will also give the big screen treatment to some of the most popular Hot Docs at Home selections, including Gunda, Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street, 2020 Hot Docs International Feature winner Stray and Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation. Audiences craving a return to retro screenings and concerts can celebrate the return of Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense—an annual favourite.
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema will follow provincial health and safety guidelines to ease the return to moviegoing. This includes a capacity limit of fifty percent, as well as physically distanced seating made possible through online seat selections. The theatre does require that all persons in the theatre wear masks. Hot Docs will also require all patrons, staff and volunteers to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, or proof of a negative COVID test result received within 48 hours of their visit, in order to enter the Cinema.
Overall, a return to theatres in Ontario and Canadian has been quite safe as cinemas implement strict safety measures to let cinephiles enjoy movies on the big screen. Throughout the pandemic, movie theatres have demonstrated themselves to be safe venues at reduced capacity with no proven transmissions worldwide, albeit prior to quick re-openings in the USA.
For audiences who aren’t yet ready to ready to theatres, the cinema will continue to curate films virtually on Hot Docs at Home. The upcoming programming includes a selection of docs that pay tribute to Anthony Bourdain by sharing his rebellious spirit and a selection of music docs that celebrate arts and icons.