Odeon and Showcase cinemas in Kent confirm plans for reopening in July
A cinema will tempt movie-goers back with £5 tickets when it opens next month.
Bluewater's Cinema de Lux is set to open next weekend with a raft of new safety measures and a collection of classic films.
The cinema at the shopping centre in Greenhithe will open from Saturday, July 4.
To welcome families back to the big screen, Showcase Cinemas is showing classic films for just £5 a ticket ahead of bigger releases later in July which will include new Disney blockbuster Mulan.
Limited numbers will be allowed in to film showings and strict new measures will accompany the reopening, including a requirement to book tickets online with a confirmation email being scanned from customers' smartphones on arrival, or by using self service ticket collection machines.
Visitors will be encouraged to wear face coverings and there will be hand sanitising stations throughout the cinema, while tills will have perspex shields and contactless payments will be encouraged.
After each screening, staff will carry out a thorough cleaning regime, which includes a new anti-viral fogging machine that eliminates airborne viruses on contact, and will be used on every seat in every screen between shows and at the end of each day. Each auditorium will also have a new air purifying system installed.
UK general manager Mark Barlow said: “We’ve been busy preparing for our re-opening by making all our sites as 'Showcase Safe' as possible for the comfort of both staff and guests, which has always been our top priority.
“There are some fantastic films to be released in 2020 and we can’t wait to see people enjoying movies back on the big screen. We’ve also brought some classic hits and recent favourites back to remind everyone just how great it is to see them in the cinema.”
Odeon will open two of its Kent cinemas - in Chatham and Tunbridge Wells - a few days later on Friday, July 10.
Tickets are on sale from June 25 for big screen classics including 1917; Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, re-released in 4k for its 40th anniversary; Sonic the Hedgehog and Onwards, Little Women, Bad Boys for Life, Dirty Dancing and The Greatest Showman.
A further 88 UK cinemas are set to reopen by July 16 - although no other Kent screens are among them.
Safety measures include online booking, contactless ticket checks and till payments for purchasing food and drinks. There is also a range of ‘Grab & Go’ pre-packaged food and drinks including a bottled drink, Butterkist popcorn and bag of sweets to improve speed of service.
Limited seats are on sale to ensure unoccupied seats between guests, whilst enabling family groups and social bubbles to sit together.
There are staggered show times to reduce queues and newly serviced air conditioning ensures fresh air is delivered into cinemas. The chain has also introduced an enhanced cleaning regime, and guests are able to use new sanitiser stations.