Cinemas have been closed since March as the UK entered a national lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cinema companies in Britain have announced new guidelines to try and keep people practicing social distance in an effort to keep them safe – but this could all change as the Government reviews the 2 metre rule. However, even if this is the case, the cinema experience may not be quite as you remember it. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
When will cinemas reopen?
Cinemas are included in the third stage of the Government’s plan to reopen Britain’s economy, which is expected to begin on July 4.
A No 10 source said: “We are only able to move forward this week because the vast majority of people have taken steps to control the virus.
“But the more we open up, the more important it is that everyone follows the social distancing guidelines.
“We will not hesitate to reverse these steps if it is necessary to stop the virus running out of control.”
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Leisure facilities are listed as hopefuls to reopen on the given date, with cinemas being explicitly named in the 50-page Government plan revealed in May.
The plan states: “The ambition at this step is to open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close. They should also meet COVID-19 secure guidelines.”
The UK’s biggest cinema chains have also announced their own plans to reopen screens for the first time in July.
Some drive-in cinemas, where moviegoers can sit in their car to watch a film, have already reopened.
Vue hopes to reopen at least some of its branches according to the Government timeline.
Vue’s website states: “We have been designing operating procedures that can provide the degree of physical distancing required and allow an experience for you our customers and our teams, that is as safe as possible.”
Cineworld is planning on reopening its venues in England on Friday, July 10, but is still reliant on the latest advice.
A statement from Cineworld reads: “We are putting a number of safety measures in place which will allow us to provide a safe environment for our employees and guests.
“This includes implementing measures such as social distancing, staggered film start and end times, hand sanitising stations, providing staff with COVID-19 specific training and more.”
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Odeon has not yet confirmed the exact date it will reopen, although it said some time in July.
A statement from the firm reads: “We are busy getting our cinemas ready to reopen safely in July and will confirm details soon.”
Curzon has also not yet confirmed exactly when it will reopen to visitors.
A statement from Curzon reads: “Once we have clear indications from the Government that we can make plans to reopen we must be able to guarantee both your safety and the safety of our staff.
“When we do reopen our cinemas, it is likely to be with reduced capacity and with several safeguarding measures in place.”
Which new films will be released this summer?
The 2020 summer film season is expected to kick off on Friday, July 24, with Disney’s live-action rendition of Mulan, which was initially to be released in March.
Just one week later, Inception and The Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan returns with another sci-fi movie called Tenet.
On August 7, children’s favourite Spongebob Squarepants will return to the big screen for Sponge on the Run, while comedy revival Bill & Ted Face The Music, will be released the following weekend.
Closing the month of August will be Marvel’s new X-Men spin-off New Mutants, which will be released on August 28.