The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic shut down just about everything, including our local cinemas - and we can't wait for them to open again...
In recent weeks, many venues have been reopening. But what about cinemas? It’s been months of movies at home – so when can we watch new releases on the big screen once more?
When will cinemas open reopen?
When can cinemas open?
The government announced a few weeks ago that cinemas were permitted to reopen on 4th July, provided that they could be ‘Covid-secure’, with social distancing and strict hygiene measures in place. However, not all cinema chains could or did reopen on this date – although some opened soon after. So has your local cinema reopened yet?
Cineworld closed all of their 787 chains in March, and announced their intention to reopen on 10th July. However, they have since stated that instead, they will be moving their reopening date to July 31st, almost a month after reopening was permitted.
They confirmed that they were planning to reopen all of their venues on this date, but that it was subject to final confirmation. “We hope that we will be able to re-open the doors of all Cineworld cinemas across the UK and Ireland at that time, subject to UK government restrictions. With the on-going pandemic, this new date remains subject to final confirmation.”
The cinema chain explained that they too will have a series of measures in place to keep customers safe, including:
- staggered film times
- contactless payments
- online booking
- social distanced seating
- additional cleaning
- santising stations
- e-tickets for customers
Vue announced their intention to begin reopening in early July, but as of 7th July they have not announced the date that visitors will be able to return. In a statement on their website, they said, “We can’t give you a date just yet. But we did want to let you know that we’re doing everything we can to get you back to Vue as soon, and as safely, as possible.”
When they do reopen, it is likely that they will follow health and safety measures in a similar way to Odeon, with social distancing, regular hand-washing, booking and queuing systems, and limited numbers of cinema-goers in one screening.
Odeon began to reopen some of their cinemas from 4th July, but some across the country still remain closed. For example, the Odeon Kingston, their venue in Epsom, and in Surrey Quays have reopened.
The business announced in a statement that they only wanted to welcome cinema-goers back if they could guarantee a strong line-up of films.
They said, “These new protocols are being introduced to reassure our guests and ensure that they can enjoy the cinema experience in the safest and most controlled environment. We will be ready to welcome guests back from early July, but the reopening of our cinemas will be dependent on having a strong line-up of films in place for our guests to enjoy. Currently this begins with Tenet and Mulan.”
In order to stay Covid-secure, Odeon have put in place a series of safety measures. Tickets are limited for each screening, and there will be unoccupied seats between parties to meet social distancing requirements.
They will have enhanced cleaning, pre-packaged food and drink available to order, and they recommend you order your tickets online before visiting.
Independent cinemas reopening
Independent cinemas have arguably faced a tougher time during the pandemic, and as a result, some have still not reopened.
In fact, a survey of independent cinemas in the UK, taken by the Independent Cinema Office, found that most of them did not expect to be able to reopen before September this year.
The poll found that 72% noted the autumn as the as earliest date that they’d be likely to welcome customers again, with many noting that social distancing was a huge obstacle for them.