Cineworld cinemas were expected to reopen at the beginning of July, in line with new government guidelines. However, this date has been dramatically pushed back, leaving fans wondering when they can get their cinema fix. For fans this is a major blow, though the chain has announced its new intended opening date to give fans something to look forward to.
Cineworld has confirmed its delay to opening, with the reopening date moving form July 10 to July 31.
A spokesperson said: “Upcoming reopenings remain subject to final clarifications and confirmation in relation to various government COVID-19 restrictions”.
The cinema giant is installing new measures to ensure movie-lovers can see films safely, with extra cleaning, staggered film start times and a push towards online booking being at the forefront of their plans.
Screens will also be added at the concession stands where safe distancing cannot be maintained, and all tills will accept contactless card payments up to a value of £45 to help cinema goers get the best out of their experience.
Cineworld delays reopening – when will cinemas be open?
However, in order to make these plans effective, the chain has to go through some extra measures to follow the strict guidelines.
Mooky Greidinger, CEO of Cineworld, 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.”
Of course, many of these films were forced to come out later than anticipated when the COVID-19 pandemic meant fans were staying at home, and cinemas became unsafe for fans to attend.
Cineworld cinemas have delayed opening by two weeks
Many cinemas are looking to reopen their doors from July 4, in line with new guidance outlined by Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week.
In the easing of lockdown restrictions, leisure venues and attractions are able to reopen from this date, including museums, playgrounds and places of worship.
The guidelines state: “In order to begin restoring the arts and cultural sector, some leisure facilities and tourist attractions may also reopen, if they can do so safely – this includes outdoor gyms and playgrounds, cinemas, museums, galleries, theme parks and arcades, as well as libraries, social clubs, places of worship and community centres.”
Of course, social distancing still must be adhered to, meaning cinemas, among other businesses, must reorganise themselves in order to meet these rules.
Odeon cinemas are the first to reopen
With the lockdown easing came the ‘one metre plus’ rule, meaning where keeping a distance of two metres is impossible such as in some pubs and restaurants, one metre is the new minimum.
However, for cinemas, seating will still likely need to be moved in order to keep this distance, meaning lower capacity in screens.
The first large cinema chain to reopen its doors is Odeon, as the company confirmed 10 sites in England will be open from July 4.
Following this, a further 88 Odeon cinemas from July 10 to July 16, which tickets able for pre-order online now.
Vue Cinemas will reopen on July 10
As for Vue Cinemas, the last of the big three cinema chains, they will become the second to reopen with plans to open their doors from July 10.
Boss Tim Richards said: “We are confident we can look after our staff and our customers with enhanced protocols. By the time we reopen in the UK, our methods will have been responsibly and robustly deployed in the real world.
“We have learned how to do this from our operations in Taiwan where we never closed and have successfully operated through pandemics such as SARS in the past; and from our sites in Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland and Lithuania, where we have recently and successfully reopened to the public.”
The chain will open 72 of its 91 chains in the UK to start off with, though with Cineworld quickly changing its reopening date, there is no guarantee cinema goers will be able to head to their local cinema from July 4.