Three cinemas in Brighton are set to reopen from 17 May, with the easing of national lockdown restrictions expected to go ahead.
The venues include the Duke of York’s Picturehouse, said to be Britain’s oldest operational cinema, Dukes at Komedia in the North Laines, and Cineworld at Brighton Marina.
Measures will likely be put in place to ensure customer safety, including socially distanced seating and staggered film times, with Cineworld telling The Argus they would open “as long as guidelines allow for it.”
All three are owned by Cineworld Group PLC, the world’s second largest cinema operator, who announced their plans to reopen cinemas in the UK and the US, as well as an exclusive deal with Warner Bros studio, on 24 March.
This includes 127 cinemas in the UK, which will open in May, and 536 Regal theatres in the US, some of which will open with the release of Godzilla vs Kong on 2 April, and the rest on 16 April with Mortal Kombat.
They have also signed a deal with Warner Bros studio that will allow them to show new releases exclusively before they are released for streaming.
Beginning next year, this would run for 45 days in the US and 31 days in the UK, although this could also increase to 45 days in the UK for films that reach an agreed box office threshold.
Chief executive Mooky Greidinger said “we are very happy for the agreement” and that “this agreement shows the studio’s commitment to the theatrical business and we see this agreement as an important milestone in our 100-year relationship with Warner Bros.”
This comes as good news for Cineworld, who have been shut since last October and like most cinemas have struggled financially, unlike streaming platforms like Netflix.
The company secured financial lifelines worth $750m (£560m) last November to help them get through the year, yet said they would only be able to do so as long as cinemas were allowed to reopen this may.
As such, although other chains are yet to announce plans to reopen, it is likely that most will be hoping to reopen as government restrictions are relaxed.
Picture Credit: The Voice of Hassocks