Cineworld delays the opening of its cinemas in the UK by more than two weeks to July 31 over movie release dates
- Cineworld had been due to open its theatres from July 10 after lockdown eased
- But it has pushed back the date to coincide with ‘upcoming movie release dates’
- Cinemas can reopen on ‘Super Saturday’ PM further eases coronavirus lockdown
- But watching a film on big screen will be a different experience due to new rules
Cineworld has delayed the reopening of its cinemas in the UK by more than two weeks until July 31.
The company, which has about 100 screens in Britain, had been due to open its theatres from July 10 after the coronavirus lockdown is further eased on July 4.
But it has pushed back the date to coincide with ‘recent adjustments to the schedule of upcoming movie releases’.
As Britons are let back in to cinemas, a string of social distancing measures will likely make going to the pictures a quieter, hungrier and more time-consuming affair
Cineworld, which has about 100 screens in Britain, had been due to open its theatres from July 10 after the coronavirus lockdown is further eased on July 4 (file photo)
Cinemas can reopen on ‘Super Saturday’ as Prime Minister Boris Johnson further eases the coronavirus lockdown
Blockbuster movies hitting the big screen in 2020
- Tenet: August 12
- The Secret Garden: August 14
- Mulan: August 21
- Bill & Ted Face the Music: August 28
- A Quiet Place: Part II: September 4
- Blithe Spirit: September 4
- Dream Horse: September 4
- Our Ladies: September 11
- The King’s Man: September 16
- Candyman: September 25
- Wonder Woman 1984: October 2
- The French Dispatch: October 16
- Black Widow: October 28
- No Time To Die: November 12
- Soul: November 20
- Free Guy: December 11
- West Side Story: December 18
- Dune: December 28
- Top Gun: Maverick: December 23
Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger said: ‘Movie fans around the world continue to be excited by the strong slate of summer films ahead, including Tenet, Mulan, A Quiet Place Part II, Unhinged, The Broken Hearts Gallery, Bill & Ted Face the Music, Greenland, and Antebellum as well as a special re-release of Christopher Nolan’s Inception on IMAX.
‘Cineworld looks forward to welcoming these moviegoers back to our cinemas next month and believes that they will once again be immersed in the timeless theatrical experience they know and love.’
Cinemas can reopen when Prime Minister Boris Johnson further eases the coronavirus lockdown on ‘Super Saturday’.
But watching a movie on the big screen will be a very different experience, with reduced seating capacity, social distancing rules and frequent cleaning of venues.
There will also be social distancing measures such as one-way systems, perspex screens for staff, mandatory contactless payment and no more pick and mix.
Big chains like Odeon are keen to woo customers back and will use the measures to keep the public safe.
On offer will be a mix of recent and remastered classics including 1917, Empire Strikes Back, Little Women, Bad Boys for Life and Dirty Dancing.
Customers will likely be allowed to sit with their household or family members, but the space around the seats will be kept empty for social distancing – meaning auditoriums could have a maximum capacity of just one quarter their usual size.
Three empty seats and a full empty row would divide each individual or household.
Film fans may have to queue outside the cinema the same way shoppers have to queue outside supermarkets and leaving venues could become more of a hassle too.
A publicity photo released by Odeon showing a member of staff handing over a box of popcorn from behind a perspex screen
Because show times will be staggered to allow for a thorough clean after the film, and to help staff and customers avoid unnecessary contact, some areas could be made one-way.
Carol Welch, Odeon’s managing director, told Radio 4’s Today programme last week: ‘We’ll be showing the same great films but will have a safer cinema experience in place so guests feel comfortable.
‘We’ve put three really important measures in place. There will safe space – you can book as a group but you will have spare seats around you to be able to have social distancing.
Film lovers will be able to enjoy Back to the Future as well as Hunger Games and Harry Potter when movie screens reopen
More than 450 films will be available to cinemas when they reopen to help them entice audiences back after lockdown.
The treasure trove of blockbusters has been put together by the Film Disttributors’ Association (FDA) to help cinemas return with a bang.
The collection, compiled in Relaunching Cinema: Content For Recovery, has been split into 25 categories and features comedy, documentary, musical, horror, romance and science-fiction features.
They include all in the films in these blockbuster series: Harry Potter, Fast and Furious, Dark Knight, Matrix, Hunger Games, Twilight and Back To The Future.
There will also be recently released hits such as Military Wives, Trolls: World Tour, Misbehaviour, Calm With Horses, Sonic The Hedgehog, Onward and Emma.
And for those pining for a classic, The Wizard Of Oz, Casablanca, Lawrence Of Arabia and The Sound Of Music will be available.
The list of titles was part of the first stage of cross-industry body Cinema First’s coronavirus recovery strategy.
Andy Leyshon, chief executive of the FDA, said: ‘This amazing collection of content represents all that’s great about cinema and should enthral and delight film lovers the length and breadth of the land.’
Dozens of blockbusters, such as James Bond in No Time To Die and Tom Cruise’s Top Gun sequel have been delayed because of the Covid-19 shut down.
‘When we know that our guests are feeling comfortable coming back to see films and are really confident in returning then everything else will follow from there.’
Film fans at the Odeon Luxe Leicester Square will likely be greeted by staff in PPE, many of whom are behind screens, when the doors re-open on July 13.
Film-goers will be encouraged to buy tickets online and contactless payment will be required at venues.
Food and drink will still be sold, but only those items that will be taken in the auditorium – meaning cafés and restaurants will stay closed for now.
Tessa Street, general manager of Odeon Leicester Square and board director for The Heart of London Business Alliance, said staff will endeavour to still give visitors a ‘magical’ experience, even under unusual circumstances.
It is not currently known if cinema-goers will have to wear masks, like passengers on public transport, with Odeon saying it is ‘following Government guidance’. There are also no current plans for mandatory temperature checks.
Guests could also be shown public health messages on the big screen before a film.
The UK Cinema Association (UKCA) released guidance for the safe re-opening of movie theatres, following consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Phil Clapp, chief executive of the association, said: ‘The launch represents an important next step in our efforts to once again bring the big screen experience to the cinema-going public.
‘We know from recent surveys that a large proportion of our audience can’t wait to come back, but they understandably want to know the steps that cinemas will be taking to ensure their continued welfare.’
Showcase Cinemas said it will reopen on July 4 while Picturehouse said they plan to reopen on July 10.
In Scotland cinemas can reopen from July 15, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced.
The first new films due to be released are expected to be Proxima, starring Eva Green, scheduled for release on July 10, and road rage thriller Unhinged, starring Russell Crowe, which is due for launch on July 17.
Christopher Nolan’s latest offering, Tenet, starring Robert Pattinson and John David Washington, is also expected to be released in August.
More than 450 films, including Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Singin’ In The Rain and The Sound Of Music, will be available to cinemas when they reopen to help them entice audiences back.
The films have been collated by the Film Distributors’ Association (FDA) in a document entitled Relaunching Cinema: Content for Recovery.
The list of titles, which also includes 1917, Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood and recent Oscar winner Parasite, is part of the first stage of cross-industry body Cinema First’s coronavirus recovery strategy.
Opening dates for Odeon cinemas across the UK
Saturday July 4
ODEON Trafford Centre
ODEON Luxe Birmingham Broadway Plaza
ODEON Luxe Epsom
ODEON Milton Keynes Stadium
ODEON Bournemouth BH2
ODEON Luxe Lee Valley
ODEON Luxe Warrington
ODEON Port Solent
ODEON Luxe Durham
Friday July 10
ODEON Liverpool ONE
ODEON Luxe Liverpool Switch Island
ODEON Luxe Telford
ODEON Luxe Tamworth
ODEON Luxe Maidenhead
ODEON Luxe Derby
ODEON Luxe Leicester
ODEON Luxe Hull
ODEON Tunbridge Wells
ODEON Luxe Bromborough
ODEON Luxe Stafford
Monday July 13
ODEON Luxe Aylesbury
ODEON Luxe Leeds Thorpe
ODEON Luxe Leeds-Bradford
ODEON Luxe Leicester Square
ODEON Luxe Nuneaton
ODEON Surrey Quays
ODEON Birmingham New Street
ODEON Northwich Baron Quays
ODEON West Brom
ODEON Covent Garden
ODEON Oxford George Street
Wednesday July 15
ODEON Luxe Glasgow Quay
ODEON Luxe Dundee
ODEON Luxe East Kilbride
ODEON Edinburgh Fort Kinnaird
ODEON Luxe Edinburgh West
Thursday July 16
ODEON Luxe & Dine Islington
ODEON Oxford Magdalen Street
ODEON Luxe Swiss Cottage
ODEON Great Northern
ODEON Tottenham Court Road
ODEON Luxe Darlington
ODEON Luxe Putney
ODEON Luxe Sheffield
ODEON South Woodford
ODEON Luxe Haymarket
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