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When can cinemas re-open in the UK?

Jacob Stolworthy
·2-min read
Cineworld, Odeon and Picturehouse are just some of the cinemas struggling amid the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic (Getty)
Cineworld, Odeon and Picturehouse are just some of the cinemas struggling amid the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic (Getty)

As originally announced during the prime minister’s roadmap out of lockdown, cinemas will be re-opening from May 17, along with pubs and restaurants indoors.

Cinemas around the UK and the world have repeatedly been forced to close their doors to business since the announcement of the first lockdown in March 2020.

The pandemic threw film industry into disarray, with major studios forced to rethink release strategies for some of its most costly and awards-friendly films.

When another lockdown was announced for England in December, it was unknown when film fans would be able to see a movie on the big screen again. However, in February, Boris Johnson announced a roadmap for the easing of restrictions with Nicola Sturgeon soon doing the same for Scotland.

These guidelines confirmed that cinemas would remain closed until 17 May. This is also the date when cinemas will open for business in Scotland and Wales. Venues in Northern Ireland are expected to reopen on 24 May.

Cineworld, whose cinemas have been closed since October 2020, will be opening its doors once again in line with Stage Three of the government’s reopening plan. Odeon, Vue and Showtime will also be reopening.

Prince Charles Cinema, a repertory theatre based in London, will resume business on this date, too.

When these cinemas do reopen, it won’t be business as usual.

A whole bunch of films, including a new ‘Conjuring’ and ‘Matrix’ film have had its releases pushed back due to the pandemicRex / Warner Bros
A whole bunch of films, including a new ‘Conjuring’ and ‘Matrix’ film have had its releases pushed back due to the pandemicRex / Warner Bros

Odeon has said that ticket sales will be limited to allow for social distancing while cash will not be accepted at box offices. Show start times will also be staggered to try to reduce queues.

The UK Cinema Association published a document last year containing guidance on how best to reopen venues during the pandemic, titled Cinemas: Keeping Workers and Customers Safe during COVID-19.

For those hoping to catch something on the big screen before the 17 May date, outdoor cinemas and drive-ins are now open, although guidelines are in place.

Below is a full list of films set to be released from the day cinemas reopen right through to the end of June.

17 May

The Courier

Maya The Bee 3: The Golden Orb

Nomadland

Sound of Metal

Spiral: From the Book of Saw

Those Who Wish Me Dead

21 May

The Human Factor

My New York Year

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

Rare Beasts

Free Guy

28 May

Cruella

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Felix and the Hidden Treasure

First Cow

Frankie

Surge

4 June

Land

A Quiet Place Part II

9 June

Nobody

11 June

The Father

Gunda

The Unholy

18 June

In the Earth

In the Heights

It Must Be Heaven

Nowhere Special

Monster Hunter

The Reason I Jump

Wildfire

23 June

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard

25 June

Another Round

Fatima

The Filmmaker’s House

New Order

Wrath of Man

Read More

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