European cinema giant Vue has confirmed it will begin the process of reopening its movie theaters from July 10.
In a statement, Vue boss Tim Richards said the business was still waiting on “specific advice from government,” but that it will begin opening doors from that date, which is one week after cinemas in England have been allowed to reopen. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on Tuesday that cinemas can resume operating from July 4. Social distancing rules have also been relaxed from two meters to one meter.
“After a record 2019, we know how important the big screen experience is to people, and now more so than ever,” said Richards. “We are confident we can look after our staff and our customers with enhanced protocols. By the time we reopen in the U.K., our methods will have been responsibly and robustly deployed in the real world.”
“We have learned how to do this from our operations in Taiwan where we never closed and have successfully operated through pandemics such as SARS in the past; and from our sites in Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland and Lithuania, where we have recently and successfully reopened to the public,” added Richards.
However, the July 10 date marks a week’s delay from when Vue originally intended to open for business, as reported previously. This could be down to further preparations required for the cinema operator’s venues to reopen safely. Richards told Variety last week that Vue will return with around 80% capacity, or 72 cinemas of its 91 U.K. venues.
Vue and Cineworld cinemas in England will now be open at the same time. The latter, Mooky Greidinger-run business confirmed its reopening strategy last week.