The UK’s largest cinema chain will reopen its sites on July 31 with anti-coronavirus safety measures in place and a roster of new releases it hopes will lure movie fans back to the multiplexes.
Cineworld had planned to reopen its 99 UK cinemas, including at the recently opened £53million The Barcode development in Plymouth, on July 10, but has now confirmed the venues, closed since March 20 when Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered a lockdown to prevent spread of the virus and protect the NHS, will start screenings again 21 days later.
Among the movies expected to attract film buffs in the weeks after opening are Disney’s live-action reboot of Mulan, Christopher Nolan’s all-action spy thriller Tenet, horror offering A Quiet Place Part II, and Bill and Ted Face the Music, which sees Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves reprise their roles as the eponymous heroes, only this time as middle-aged Generation X-ers.
IMAX screens will also to be showing a re-release of Christopher Nolan’s hit sci-fi tale Inception.
The international company will also be opening its US moviehouses on the same Friday evening, but other countries will be able to see films in cinemas again on July 16.
And Cineworld warned: “Upcoming re-openings remain subject to final clarifications and confirmation in relation to various government Covid-19 restrictions.”
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Cineworld will also implement its health and safety measures, which adhere to the latest public health guidelines and include contactless payments, “innovative” sanitization procedures, new social distancing protocols and seating capacity limits in line with local regulations, the company stressed.
Cineworld said it will continue to monitor the situation closely and follow any changes to regulations or guidance from public health officials.
Cineworld, the world’s second largest cinema operator, furloughed about 12,000 UK staff when the lockdown began in March. It also deferred salaries and bonuses for all executive directors and deferred fees for non-execs.
Mooky Greidinger, chief executive 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.”