EXCLUSIVE UPDATE, 5:45AM: UK exhibitor Odeon Cinemas, which is owned by the Wanda-controlled AMC Theatres, has become the latest chain to confirm it is aiming to re-open its venues in “early July’, depending on evolving government regulations and available movies.
An Oden spokesperson told Deadline: “We continue to make good progress in our plans for reopening cinemas in the UK and across Europe. We are working closely with national cinema associations and governments as we introduce additional health and safety protocols across all of our sites.
“These new protocols have been introduced to reassure our guests and ensure that they can enjoy the cinema experience in the safest and most controlled environment. We will be ready to welcome guests back from early July, and the reopening of our cinemas will be dependent on having a strong line-up of films in place for our guests to enjoy. Currently this begins with Tenet and Mulan.”
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Everyman Cinemas, one of the UK’s top indie chains, also told Deadline today that it is aiming for an early July re-opening, depending on the circumstances at the time.
The re-opening will include a variety of coronavirus preventative procedures such as social distancing requirements, staggered start times, perspex shields at till points, hand sanitizer stations and PPE, mirroring plans put in place by other chains around the world.
Earlier this week, the UK government tentatively confirmed that UK cinemas could re-open from July 4, depending on a continued reduction in confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Vue Cinemas, the country’s third-largest chain and the most vocal when expressing its determination to re-open, confirmed at the time that it would be aiming for that date, and employing many of the measures that Showcase, the fourth-largest chain, has outlined today.
“It is clearly dependent on many factors,” said Mark Barlow, General Manager, Showcase Cinemas UK. “But the most recent announcement from the government gave a proposed date of July 4 for leisure destinations that can implement social distancing and other safety measures to reopen, and this is what we are currently working towards.”
This week, Deadline interviewed the owners of Norway’s top cinema chain about how they successfully re-opened venues last weekend following the lifting of their virus lockdown.
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