Coronavirus fears shut down cinema
A FAR Northern cinema has taken the step of temporarily closing its doors in a pre-emptive move ahead of the potential arrival of the coronavirus to the region.
Management of the 300-seat Babinda Munro Picture Theatre made the decision to close its doors yesterday to help assist in minimising the potential spread of the disease.
Theatre owner Fred Lizzio said in the 50-year history of owning the cinema, the threat of disease had never closed the establishment.
"People would gather in the theatre and would assist in spreading the virus if anyone comes in that is affected," he said.
"Theatres play a big part in the community but they are not what I would call an essential part of the community.
"We feel we are helping and assisting to prevent the spread of the virus."
Also a pharmacist, Mr Lizzio said it was just a matter of time before the outbreak reached the Far North.
"By far the best way is to try and prevent it - and it will come, almost without a doubt - but if we can slow down its entry then maybe we have a bit of time to process everyone that does get affected," he said.
"If we don't get it it's like winning the lottery.
Rather than raising panic about the disease by closing the theatre, Mr Lizzio said he felt a responsibility to the community to do his bit to halt the potential advance of coronavirus.
The theatre will be closed until further notice.