Everything you need to know as Sunderland's Empire Cinema gets ready to reopen

Sunderland’s multi-screen cinema is getting ready to reopen to the public.

The Empire Cinema in High Street West has been closed during the latest coronavirus lockdown, which began in January.

Now the UK’s largest independently owned cinema chain has announced its plans to reopen its 14 sites nationwide throughout May.

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The firm has confirmed its plans will see social distancing measures in place, in accordance with the UK Cinema Association and UK government’s updated guidelines.

Sunderland's Empire Cinema will reopen later this month

The chain has outlined the opening dates with Sunderland reopening on Wednesday, May 26.

Which films are showing at the Empire in Sunderland when it reopens?

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A host of blockbuster releases have been on hold for the last year. The first films to be screened at the Empire in Sunderland after reopening will be;

Peter Rabbit 2

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Empire Cinema assistant manager Craig Wilkinson

Disney’s live action Cruella

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Godzilla vs Kong

Tom and Jerry the Movie

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The Conjuring 3

Mortal Kombat

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Maya The Bee 3: The Golden Orb

Scoob

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A Quiet Place II

The Unholy

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Nomadland

Demon Slayer: Mugen Train (Japanese version with English Subtitles)

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How many tickets can be sold?

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Empire Cinemas has reduced seating capacities and limited film screening times to reduce any crowds.

Other measures in place will include clear social distancing signage throughout the cinema, plastic screens at till fronts, hand sanitiser stations and enhanced cleaning throughout the cinema.

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Do I need to wear a facemask at the cinema?

In line with government guidelines, all cinemagoers will be required to wear a face covering during their visit unless they are eating and drinking or are unless exempt.

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The firm is urging customers to book online and use contactless payment methods in cinemas.

CEO Justin Ribbons said: “We’ve all missed not being able to watch a film at the Cinema on a big screen and we can’t wait to welcome customers back.

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"We have a great line-up of films – there really is ‘Something for Everyone’.

"The safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff is still our top priority and safety/social distancing measure remain in place.”

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