Dalton Park and Boldon Cineworld cinemas announce reopening plans after Boris Johnson confirms May 17 roadmap date
Cinema-goers are set to be back popping popcorn and indulging in flicks after Cineworld announced it will be reopening its Boldon and Dalton Park multiplex venues later in May.
The cinemas have been closed since October 2020, when Cineworld make the decision to close all its venues as the pandemic worsened.
Now, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed cinemas will be among indoor venues allowed to reopen on May 17, the chain is pressing ahead with plans to reopen within days of the official date.
A Cineworld spokesman said: “We are excited to announce that our cinemas in England will re-open on May 19! We will announce the re-opening of our remaining cinemas in due course.
“At Cineworld our main priority remains the safety of our customers and employees. We of course follow all instructions and regulations of the local authorities and current government guidelines and regulations.”
There will, however, be covid restrictions in place as customers return to the cinemas.
What measures are in place?
Face coverings must be worn, but can be removed when eating and drinking.
Social-distancing measures will be in place, in line with guidelines set out by councils.
Film start and end times will be staggered to reduce customers crossing paths with other customers going in or out of other screens and build-up of crowds in the foyer. Additional cleaning time has been added between films.
Can I still sit with my friends and family?
Cineworld says its booking system has been updated to allow you to sit next to your friends and family in its cinema screens while ensuring a safe distance between customers from separate groups.
The company said this varies depending on the capacity and layout of each screen, and is subject to Government restrictions.
Customers will be encouraged book tickets in advance online or via the Cineworld app, available via iOS and Android. Confirmation emails can be used as tickets, and e-tickets are available on the app.
Cineworld’s tills accept contactless card payments up to a value of £45/€50 and Apple Pay/Google Pay mobile payments with no limit in cinemas.
The company said ticket machines in most of its cinemas also accept contactless payments and it is working on upgrading the rest.
There will be plastic screens at tills in concessions areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.
All employee and customer toilets will be stocked with anti-bacterial hand soap, and Cineworld said “stringent handwashing guidelines” will be in place for all employees.
Hand sanitizer stations will be provided for customers and employees.
There will be an enhanced cleaning programme designed to clean and sanitise the high touch points within the cinema.
Cineworld said all employees receive specific COVID-19 training and PPE is provided to employees where the risk assessment has deemed it necessary, in line with government requirements.
The cinema will also be using the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Contact Tracing scheme.
What films will be coming out?
Peter Rabbit 2, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Unholy, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It and A Quiet Place: Part II are some of the titles due to be released on cinema screens, with the delayed and long-awaited new James Bond film No Time to Die among those expected later in the year.