How re-opened cinemas will be different post-lockdown

Dan Seddon
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Digital Spy

The UK government has approved guidelines for re-opening cinemas, three months after the coronavirus pandemic closed the doors of the industry.

Although movies themselves won't be changing - Christopher Nolan's ambitious thriller Tenet will be the first blockbuster to grace the big screen next month - the viewing experience will be completely different to anything we've ever known.

One significant update, though, is that customers will not be expected to wear face masks in theatres.

Photo credit: Melinda Sue Gordon - Warner Bros.

Related: Tenet's Kenneth Branagh reveals Christopher Nolan's extreme lengths to avoid spoiler leaks

Social distancing measures are the big one, with floor markings suggested throughout the venue to encourage the newly-updated 1-metre+ rule.

Protective screens between customers and staff members are recommended, while self-service confectionery stands should be totally removed - but don't panic, as popcorn and other cinema staples will still be on offer.

Things will really start to look strange once you're in the auditorium, as 'social distancing champions' will be on hand to make sure seating segregation is carried out. One-way traffic could be the new normal too, while entrances at the back of the room and exits through emergency doors may also be introduced.

Photo credit: Getty Images

Related: Marvel, Fast and Furious, Harry Potter among movies available when UK cinemas reopen

Although no capacity caps are stated in the new guidelines, the screening rooms will probably be limited to around 60% if they put the social distancing rules to proper use.

Meanwhile, frequent cleaning is of paramount importance, typically between each movie, while a reduction in screening numbers has been suggested in order to safely manage customer crowds.

All UK cinemas have been given the greenlight to re-open their doors to the public from Saturday, July 4.

The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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