03/24/2020 10:24 EDT | Updated 03/24/2020 10:32 EDT

Cineplex Execs Take 80% Pay Cut As Company Slashes Staff

The company plans to rehire when the crisis passes, but for now, it's layoffs and pay cuts.

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In this file photo, the exterior of a Cineplex cinema is seen in Oakville, Ont., May 20, 2019.

Cinema chain Cineplex says its executives are taking an 80-per-cent pay cut as the company slashes staff and wages amid the coronavirus shutdown.

The Toronto-based company closed its 165 movie theatres, The Rec Room locations and Playdium as of March 16 until April 2 on the guidance of health and government officials around the COVID-19 pandemic.

It says it has laid off “thousands” of part-time workers as a result fo the shutdown.

WATCH: ‘It’s a disaster’: Coronavirus takes toll on film industry. Story continues below.


A spokesperson declined to answer exactly how many part-time staff were laid off, but said it impacted thousands of roles. The company had about 11,180 part-time employees in the U.S. and Canada as of Dec. 31, 2018, according to its latest annual information form.

Cineplex is taking additional measures to help the “vast majority″ of its part-time team who are ineligible for employment insurance, she said. The company is paying these employees a lump sum that is similar to what they would have received from EI for two and a half weeks.

“From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our primary focus has been the health and safety of our employees and guests. With the temporary closure of our network of entertainment venues and the majority of our full-time employees working from home, our focus was able to shift to safeguarding the long-term stability of our business and our readiness to return once the crisis has passed,” the company said in a statement, as quoted by The Hollywood Reporter.

While the company intends to rehire the laid off workers when it reopens, the spokesperson said the company is also working with other retailers who need more staff to find them jobs.

― HuffPost Canada, with a file from The Canadian Press