The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all aspects of the movie industry, from release dates to filming schedules. But while things had been looking optimistic for the reopening of cinemas, Cineworld has now pushed back its return date.
The UK-based cinema chain had previously hoped to reopen venues from 10th July, but that date has now been pushed back to 31st July.
The move is a reaction to the delays in film releases, with both Christopher Nolan’s Tenet and the Disney reboot Mulan now due for release in August rather than July – while films like A Quiet Place II won’t be hitting theatres until September earliest.
Cineworld said in the statement their decision was “in line with recent adjustments to the schedule of upcoming movie releases”.
The chain previously announced its safeguarding measures to help prevent the spread of the virus.
In a statement announcing its plans to open its cinemas in England from 10th July 2020, Cineworld said, “We know how much you’ve been missing the cinema and we are thrilled to be back!”
Among other alterations, the “seating maps” have been updated to allow social distancing, while all ticket machines to be upgraded to allow contactless payments up to £45.
All staff will be provided COVID-19 training and PPE, and trained staff will be on hand to offer assistance to customers.
This is in addition to staggered film times, plastic tills at the screen, additional cleaning and hand sanitiser available at all cinemas for staff and customers. You can read Cineworld’s full guidelines here.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously gave the green light for cinemas to reopen from 4th July, as part of a relaxation of lockdown measures. However, with the delays mounting, it looks like cinephiles will have a while yet to wait.
If you’re looking for more to watch in the meantime, check out our TV guide.