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A screening at the Bytowne Cinema. Photo: Megan McLeod.

The ByTowne Cinema welcomes patrons back to the theatre

By Erika Ibrahim on September 8, 2021

The ByTowne Cinema is ready to dim the lights and usher moviegoers into their seats. The iconic Ottawa-based independent theatre officially opens Wednesday, Sept. 8, with the first screening taking place in the afternoon.

First on the schedule of films is the critically acclaimed family drama Minari, the documentary The Truffle Hunters, Leos Carax’s musical Annette, the reimagining of an ancient myth Undine, and The Lost Leonardo, which tells the story of the most expensive painting ever sold.

Those eager to settle into the plush seats for a screening will be able to do so, with limited seating as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

In addition to the same popcorn the ByTowne has offered in years past, moviegoers can look forward to selected beer and wine options to enjoy while they watch their film.

Co-owner of the ByTowne cinema Daniel Demois says, “We’ve partnered with several local breweries, a nearby cidery, and are excited to hear what folks think about the four wines we will have on offer,” according to a statement. “People have already responded very positively to the September film programming, and I can’t wait to enjoy a glass of wine myself while taking in a matinee with an audience for the first time in ages.”

Demois recently moved his family to Ottawa in order to oversee the day-to-day operations of the theatre.

“Moving to a new city can be a challenge but I’ve greatly enjoyed exploring, finding out where the good donuts are, and everyone has been so welcoming. It’s wonderful to be met with such enthusiasm from those eager to see The ByTowne open again,” says Demois.

The theatre has put in place a full vaccine requirement as of their reopening, a move that coincides with the Ontario government’s recent announcement that vaccine passports will be needed to access non-essential businesses. Starting Sept. 22, settings like indoor restaurants, gyms, concert venues and movie theatres will be required to seek proof of full vaccination from customers.

“As you’re aware, the province of Ontario has made vaccinations mandatory for admission to establishments such as ours. For the safety of our employees and guests we’ve decided to institute the same policy as of Sept. 8,” says a statement on the ByTowne website.

See the full film schedule, purchase memberships or tickets and learn more about the ByTowne at