COVID-19 isn’t going to kill movie theatres: Vincenzo Guzzo

Welcome to Vincenzo Guzzo’s “Den,” where he's practicing social distancing with his wife and five children. Dragons’ Den senior producer Molly Middleton caught up with our Mega Boss to see how business and life have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Any new quarantine routines?

Before COVID-19, “Mr. Sunshine” rose with the sun at 5 a.m. and left his house by 7. Now, he’s embraced sleeping in until 9 a.m. — but that hasn’t stopped him from dressing up like he normally would. “I’m not going to start with the jogging pants, dirty t-shirt, and not taking showers,” he says. “The routine stays the same. It’s delayed by four hours.”

How has COVID-19 impacted your businesses?

When your main businesses are restaurants and movie theatres, you’re “in the business of gathering people,” says Vincenzo. Since social distancing measures were implemented, his companies have been closed to the public — but that doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done. “My staff are still all working. We’re cleaning and renovating theatres,” says Vincenzo.

Cinémas Guzzo, Vincenzo’s movie theatre chain, has also pivoted and is now offering movie streaming online.

Despite the current state of business, Vincenzo “Mr. Sunshine” Guzzo remains positive. “A few months ago people were saying, ‘When are movie theatres going to die?’ All of a sudden everybody wants to go to the movies again,” he says. “It’s when you miss something that you start appreciating it. I think that we’re going to have a newfound appreciation for things that we took for granted in the next few years.”

Pandemic’s impact in the Den

When Dragons’ Den production eventually starts up again, Vincenzo believes some Dragons will make deals they wouldn’t have made in the past to diversify their portfolios. “Some of us will have new perspectives when we get [back into the Den,]” he says. “Maybe we’ll venture out into different sectors.”

Could this be your business’s time to shine? Dragons’ Den is still accepting online applications for the new season. Apply now!