When Odeon, Vue and Reel will reopen in Lancashire and new measures
Written by Skywave Radio News on May 30, 2020
Cinemas across the UK could be ready to reopen their doors in July.
It looks like the Everyman in Clitheroe, Reel in Burnley, and Vue in Preston could be up and running once again in just under two months time as lockdown measures are slowly lifted across Britain.
A small number of cinemas have already reopened in the USA, with some operating at 25 per cent capacity, and now picture houses in Britain are preparing to follow suit.
In America, social distancing measures have been implemented by cinema bosses with parties limited to five people, customers being encouraged to wear face masks and certain seats being blocked to reduce contact.
Although most cinemas across Europe remain firmly closed, the likes of Cineworld, Vue, Odeon and Everyman, are hopeful that customers will be able to enjoy big screen entertainment in just over seven weeks time.
So what have these chains said about reopening? Here’s everything LancsLive knows so far.
Everyman is one of the UK’s top indie chains and currently operates 27 cinemas across the UK with a popular branch attached to the Bowland Brewery in Clitheroe.
The company have told Deadline magazine that it is aiming for an early July reopening, although this depends on circumstances concerning the pandemic at the time.
Everyman are planning to implement a number of virus prevention procedures including social distancing requirements, staggered start times and perspex shields at till points.
Hand sanitizer stations and PPE will be provided for staff, mirroring plans put in place by other chains around the world.
Reel is one of the most popular cinemas in Lancashire with branches in Chorley, Burnley and Morecambe.
It operates 13 picture houses across the UK with additional sites currently under construction, including one in Liverpool and another in Blackburn.
Reel has a number of cinemas in the Middle East and will soon open its first drive in cinema in Dubai but, when it comes to its UK branches, it has not yet made clear any plans to reopen.
Vue Cinemas operate 91 picture houses across Britain and Ireland, including branches in Preston, Accrington, Blackburn and Lancaster.
All of its cinemas were closed “until further notice” in March, inline with its industry competitors.
However, movie junkies could be able to return to the big screen in the coming months.
In an interview with the BBC earlier this month, Vue Cinemas’ chief executive, Tim Richards, revealed that the company is hoping to reopen in mid July.
He said that, if all goes to plan, branches will welcome audiences back for the launch of Tenet, the latest Christopher Nolan blockbuster featuring Michael Caine and Robert Pattinson.
Mr Richards said: “We are seeing our markets in Europe opening before ours.”
He added: “We are trying to work with the government to demonstrate we are not like sporting fixtures and pop concerts.”
He further revealed that Vue will be able to limit the number of people inside their cinemas as they have “the ability to control the exit and entrance.”
Vue are likely to introduce a number of other measures to ensure that the cinemas do not pose a risk to customers and staff.
These include staggering screening times to reduce congestion and implementing enhanced cleaning protocols.
Vue Cinemas is also considering making changes to its online systems which would allow families to isolate their seats from others when prebooking their tickets.
Odeon operates 120 cinemas in the UK and Ireland, making it the second-largest cinema chain in the country.
It has two branches in Lancashire, one in Preston and another in Blackpool.
As with its competitors, the company closed its door in March but could be reopening within the next two months.
According to the Sun, a spokesperson for the chain confirmed today that its cinemas will be “ready to welcome guests back from early July.”
This will of course be dependent on government guidance and decisions made within the film industry itself, such as the schedule of content.
Odeon further revealed recently that it will introduce additional health and safety measures in its cinemas to ensure customers can enjoy their experience in a safe and controlled way, while also protecting staff.