Before the UK lockdown was announced, drive-in cinemas sounded like they could be our only way of going to the movies for the foreseeable future. Once we found out we couldn’t have four people huddling to watch a film, the idea was mothballed. Today, Cineworld announced plans to reopen all UK cinemas in July under new government guidelines.
As the world’s second-largest cinema chain, with 128 venues in the UK and Ireland, they aim to reopen with the release of the Christopher Nolan movie, Tenet. Immediately followed by Disney blockbuster, Mulan. The brand has over 700 venues globally, and has stated that when venues reopen they will adhere to the government’s strict rules on physical distancing and will ensure hygiene guidelines are followed.
A spokesperson for Cineworld said: “Subject to this and confirmation of the schedule for film releases, Cineworld anticipates the reopening of all of its cinemas in July. Cineworld has put procedures in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable cinema experience for its employees and customers.”
Cineworld also shared its struggles during the coronavirus pandemic. The brand had to secure financial support to keep its head above the water, with the uncertainty that it could have stayed closed for the rest of the year. Rival chain Vue, announced physical distancing plans earlier this month. The brand will physically isolate family groups and stagger the timing of films upon their July reopening.
China reopened cinemas back in March but they were closed shortly after by the government, amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus.
The social distancing plan doesn’t seem too far from normality. My trips to the cinema always involved trying to get the spot with the most free space, so I could crunch my popcorn without judgement. There might not be as many films to choose but we’ll always have Netflix.