British movie theater chain Showcase Cinemas U.K., owned by the Redstone family’s National Amusements, has confirmed it intends to reopen cinemas on July 4. Showcase has also set out the precautionary measures it will put in place to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19.
Mark Barlow, general manager, Showcase Cinemas U.K., said: “It is clearly dependent on many factors, but the most recent announcement from the government gave a proposed date of July 4 for leisure destinations that can implement social distancing and other safety measures to reopen, and this is what we are currently working towards.”
He added: “These measures include being able to restrict capacities per auditorium to maintain social distancing requirements, as well as staggered film start times on a reduced schedule, online bookings, contactless payments throughout, Perspex shields at all till points, and wipes and hand sanitiser stations located throughout our buildings. We have also designed a comprehensive new cleaning program and employee PPE requirements to ensure that our number one priority – the health and safety of everyone in our cinemas – is achieved.”
A spokesperson for the U.K. Cinema Assn. said: “We have made clear to the U.K. government – and the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – that, on the basis of our understanding of the safeguards that will need to be in place before cinemas can safely open, most venues will be ready to do so by the end of June. The suggestion that this might be considered around July 4 for cinemas in England is therefore welcome.”
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National Amusements, the corporate parent of Showcase Cinemas U.K., operates more than 906 screens in the U.S., U.K., Brazil and Argentina under the Showcase, Showcase Cinema de Lux, Superlux and UCI brands.