Brilliant: Amid COVID Closure, a Barbershop Beats the System By Reopening as a Film Studio

(Chuck Zlotnick/Warner Bros. via AP)

 

For those of you who’ve never toured a studio, opportunity’s at your door: There’s a brand new one in Ontario, and they’re taking appointments.

Amid a Canadian COVID clampdown, much of the country’s closed.

Without the ability to open, how will businesses stay afloat?

One St. Catherines barbershop — nearly two decades into its run — is bent on beating the system.

As relayed by The Daily Caller, Chrome Artistic Barbering is courting customers — as, officially, a film studio.

Many enterprises were forcibly shuttered on January 14th, compliments of the province’s coronavirus order.

However, film and television productions were allowed to keep the revenue rollin in’.

Hence, in a January 6th Facebook post, Chrome announced it was making some changes:

We are working on something interesting. Something original. Sky is the limit. Come join us and possibly be part of our project. We are working on a podcast and potentially a documentary to follow. Starting now. We would love to have you come in for a haircut experience and be yourself. Share what you want, or don’t. No pressure. … Safety measures followed. Insured. Permitted.

Atop the ad: “Chrome Invites You to Book an Audition.”

The haircut joint film studio also posted this, and I think it’s pretty brilliant:

Meanwhile, as the Toronto Sun reports, “Warmington: Salon Owner Makes You the Star of Your Haircut.”

In the article, owner Alicia Hirter explains:

“With the latest lockdown, we had to find a way to survive. We became a film set and studio. People who come here for a haircut are not just clients, but they are actors who are auditioning for a part or performing in what will be our movie TV show or podcast.”

“A single mother,” the Sun points out, “she was not in a position to face a second lengthy shutdown of her business.

So after looking through the lockdown rules, which allow movie shoots to continue, she merely emulated the kind of business that people like Premier Doug Ford and Toronto Mayor John Tory are not shutting down.

Pretty smart loophole, actually. Creative.

But speaking to Rebel News, she says there’s no hole:

“I didn’t find a loophole. I’m producing a podcast.”

And to CTV: “You’re telling me Walmart can sell bananas that 17 people have touched but I’m not allowed to operate? It’s morally wrong. You can’t expect us to shut down.”

From the Caller:

Chrome’s online reservation app allows customers to choose between an “Adult Audition” and a “Kids Audition.” The “audition will be recorded for intent (if chosen) to later use in a podcast and/or documentary format.”

Sounds wholly Hollywood, but trouble may be brewing:

The City of Toronto has launched an investigation into Chrome’s continued operation… “Businesses that do not comply with the Provincial Orders and Regulations will be investigated and can anticipate consequences,” a city official said.

It’s a strange time, and it’s sad that businesses are having to “get creative.”

Or course, in business, you have to be creative to make anything work.

As a barbershop, Chrome began that process almost 20 years before the virus.

Clearly, they’re not ready to cut it out.

-ALEX

 

See more pieces from me:

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