Cinemas to reopen after months of darkened screens
The first cinemas to reopen their doors will start showing films on July 4 after months of darkened screens.
All Showcase cinemas and 10 Odeon cinemas around England will open after closing in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a mixture of recent releases and older offerings available to draw film fans back to theatres.
The Odeon cinema at Manchester’s Trafford Centre will screen Sonic The Hedgehog, Birds Of Prey and Bad Boys For Life, which were all released earlier this year, as well as The Hangover from 2009 and Batman Begins from 2005.
Other films directed by Christopher Nolan, including The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, Dunkirk and Interstellar, will also be available later in the month, ahead of the release of his latest offering Tenet, which has already had its release date moved twice.
Another 88 Odeons are also planned to reopen by the end of July, including the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square, which will reopen on July 13.
Showcase cinemas will also show older films on its opening day, including 1985’s Back To The Future and the 2019 Oscar winner Bohemian Rhapsody.
Vue cinemas will reopen on July 10, while Cineworld and Picturehouse has pushed back the date it plans to reopen cinemas following the easing of lockdown restrictions.
The cinema chain will now not welcome back its UK customers until July 31, instead of July 10, because of changes to planned film release dates.
Proxima, starring Eva Green, was due to be released on July 10 but will now open on July 31.
Unhinged, starring Russell Crowe, was due for release on July 17 but has also been pushed to July 31.
Cinemas are planning to use socially distanced seating plans and enhanced cleaning when they reopen and Cineworld, which has about 100 cinemas around the UK, has said it has updated its booking system to ensure social distancing, and adapted its daily movie schedules to manage queues and avoid the build-up of crowds in lobbies.
It has also said it has enhanced cleanliness and sanitation procedures across all sites.
Meanwhile, Vue has said it is confident it can look after staff and customers with “enhanced protocols” and has learned how to operate from Taiwan, where its cinemas never closed, and from sites in Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland and Lithuania where they have recently reopened to the public.