One of the UK’s biggest cinema chains has announced it will be reopening just 10 of its cinemas across the UK after almost five months.
Although cinemas have been allowed to reopen since July 4, which was dubbed “Super Saturday”, most chose to remain closed in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Vue has announced it will restart a phased opening of its cinemas from Friday (August 7). Of the 10 cinemas it plans on reopening, three are in London.
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Other Vue cinemas opening around the country include Cheshire Oaks, Cramlington, Doncaster, Edinburgh Ocean, Farnborough, Manchester Lowry and Oxford.
However film fanatics will notice changes within the cinema and have to follow new rules to enjoy what is left of this summer’s blockbusters.
Vue is encouraging all customers to book online to ensure their trip to the cinema remains “as contactless as possible”. Tickets can be stored on your smartphone and scanned by a member of staff before you enter.
The online booking system has been altered to factor in social distancing. All bookings made in one group will be seated together and spaced out from other bookings in the cinema.
Doors will be kept open and fewer touch points will be left in the foyer area with the aim that customers can “walk through” to their film and walk back out. Film timings will also be staggered so two showings do not start or end at the same time, reducing the number of people in the foyer.
Every screen and theatre will be disinfected after each screening and hand sanitiser is also available throughout the building.
Face masks will be optional in cinemas, as well as theatres and concert halls.
Different cinemas may also have additional measures depending on their layout, which will be signposted at the entrances and throughout the building, Vue added.
All customers will also have to register their details for Test and Trace with the cinema.
Toby Bradon, Territory General Manager of Vue Entertainment in the UK, said: “Behind the scenes, we’ve been working hard to develop safety protocols in line with government guidelines and informed by our recently reopened cinemas across Europe.
“The safety of those who work and visit our sites is paramount and we’ve therefore taken the time to ensure protocols and staff training are in line with the latest guidance ahead of opening.
“There’s a lot to look forward to on the big screen this year, including the hotly anticipated releases of Wonder Woman 1984 and The King’s Man, as well as filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s latest blockbuster, Tenet.
“A number of ‘customer favourite’ films will also be back on the big screen where they belong including the Harry Potter series; Star Wars – The Empire Strikes back; and a collection of Nolan’s catalogue including Batman Begins, Inception and Dunkirk.”