The Radio Times logo

When are UK cinemas reopening?

It's been a long wait for movie buffs, but they can head back to the cinema soon.

Group of people in the cinema having fun
Getty Images
Published: Tuesday, 4th May 2021 at 3:40 pm

There are a great number of things that people have missed about regular life over the past year, with trips to the cinema being one of them.


It's always a thrill to lose yourself in the escapism that a brilliant film provides, particularly in trying times, so fans will be pleased to here that cinemas will be making a return in the UK very soon.

Of course, things won't be exactly how you remember them and measures will need to be taken to ensure a safe experience for everyone in attendance, but there are plenty of big releases to get excited about.

When are cinemas reopening?

Guidance has changed quite a bit since cinemas were last open, and the rules can always change as we've seen over the past 12 months. The current plan by the government has outdoor cinemas open already (April 2021), while indoor cinemas will open from Monday, 17th May. There's no news for Wales or Northern Ireland yet.

Not every cinema chain will open on the 17th May, with some working to their own 'roadmap'.

Cineworld - Monday, 17th May

Cineworld and Picturehouse has now confirmed it will reopen on 17th May. To see what safety measures are in place visit Cineworld's website. During the cinema closure My Cineworld customers had their accounts extended for the period of the closure.

Odeon - 21st May (TBC)

Odeon hasn't confirmed the date its reopening cinemas yet but it looks like it will be 21st May based off the first films they have listed at their cinemas. Cinemas include: Trafford Centre, Luxe Birmingham Broadway Plaza, Luxe Epson, Norwich, Milton Keynes Stadium, Bournemouth BH2, Luxe Lee Valley, Luxe Warrington, Port Solent and Luxe Durham.

You can sign up to Odeon's email to be notified about your local cinemas opening times.

Showcase Cinemas - 17th May

Showcase Cinema chain will also be reopening on the government guidance date, 17th May.

Vue - TBC

Vue is yet to announce its reopen date. Vue does have guidance on face masks and distancing on its website.


The BFI has announced it will reopen on 17th May.

Curzon - 17th May

Curzon is set to open in line with government guidance on 17th May. Mayfair, Richmond, Wimbledon and Sheffield will open 4th June. Tickets go on sale 10th May.

What about independent cinemas?

While most of the big cinema chains have a certain level of financial security, things have been much tougher for independent venues that have been entirely without business for many weeks.

Due to the reduced footfall that these smaller cinemas already receive in comparison to the giant multiplexes, many have decided not to reopen their doors until a bit later. Check your local cinema website for reopen dates.

What safety measures will be in place at cinemas?

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.

The advice includes implementing measures to ensure social distancing is possible throughout each location, both in the foyer and the auditoriums themselves.

It also recommends an enhanced cleaning regimen and the addition of antibacterial hand gel stations for customers, as well as plastic screens at contact points, such as the box office and refreshment stand.

The document advises that online booking, contactless payment and e-tickets are widely used, in order to minimise contact between customers and staff.

In addition, film screenings should be scheduled strategically, to allow for deeper cleaning between each showing and to prevent crowds gathering in corridors.

Each cinema has shared its own precautions and guidance online too, with face masks, distancing and hand wash in the lobby all in place.

The consistent guidance across all cinemas is:

  • Staggered start times
  • Reduced ticketing
  • Face masks
  • Book online (no cash)
  • All pre-packaged food and drink
  • Regular cleaning

What movies are showing?

Credit: Warner Bros
Warner bros

Now that cinemas are expected to reopen, movie release dates have started to be updated again, so what will be on offer?

Here's a list of the upcoming UK release dates for the movies that were either postponed or set for release when cinemas were reopened 17th May.

Monday, 17th May

  • Sound of Metal
  • The Courier
  • Nomadland

Friday, 21 May

  • Spiral: From the Book of Saw
  • Free Guy
  • Infinite
  • Rare Beasts
  • The Human Factor

Friday, 28th May

  • Cruella
  • The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

Friday, 4th June

  • A Quiet Place Part II
  • Land
  • Nobody, Samaritan

Friday, 11th June

  • The Father
  • Nobody
  • The Unholy
  • Vivo

Friday, 18th June

  • In The Heights
  • Luca
  • The Reason I Jump
  • In The Earth
  • Monster hunter
  • Wildfire

Friday, 25th June

  • Another Round
  • Wrath of Man
  • Freaky

Friday, 2nd July

  • Voyagers
  • Last Man Standing

Friday, 9th July

  • Fast & Furious 9
  • Black Widow
  • Supernova

Friday, 16th July

  • Space Jam: A New Legacy
  • The Croods: A New Age
  • The Forever Purge
  • Cinderella

Friday, 23rd July

  • Top Gun Maverick
  • I Never Cry
  • Friday, 30th July
  • The Green Knight
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Old
  • The Sparks Brothers
  • Limbo

Friday, 6th August

  • The Suicide Squad

Friday, 13th August

  • People Just Do Nothing
  • Free Guy

Friday, 20th August

  • The Hitman's Bodyguard 2

Friday, 27th August

  • The Beatles: Get Back
  • Candyman
  • The Nest

Friday, 3rd September

  • Jackass
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  • Resident Evil
  • Second Spring

Friday, 10th September

  • Infinite
  • Respect

Wednesday, 15th September

  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Friday, 17th September

  • Dune

Thursday, 30th September

  • James Bond: No Time To Die

Dates are correct as of time of writing 4th May but are subject to government guidance on cinemas reopening.


If you're looking for something to watch, check out our TV Guide. For more cinema news check out our Movies Hub.


Sponsored content