European Cinema Giant Vue Pushes Back Phased U.K. Reopening to Aug. 7

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Tim Richards, CEO of Vue International

The chain will initially reopen 10 of its 97 U.K cinemas and has unveiled five key safety areas aimed at reassuring customers.

European exhibition giant Vue International has pushed back the phased reopening of its cinemas in the U.K., which is now set to begin on Aug. 7, a week later than the previously announced date of July 31. 

Ten sites from Vue's 97 U.K. cinemas — all of which shuttered in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic — will reopen on Aug. 7, with tickets going on sale July 30. 

The announcement comes just days after the ever-changing release schedule of delayed films took another knock, with Warner Bros. revealing that its Christopher Nolan blockbuster Tenet would now be released in 70 countries — including the U.K. — on Aug. 26. Disney is yet to reveal the rollout plan for Mulan, which had been been due for a postponed release date of July 24 before recently being delayed indefinitely. 

As part of the reopening, Vue has unveiled five key safety areas it hopes will help reassure customers, including a focus on contactless, online booking, enhanced learning protocols and PPE-equipped staff, physical distancing built into the booking system, reduced touchpoints within each venue, and staggered film times to reduce crowding in foyers and corridors. 

"Behind the scenes, we’ve been working hard to develop safety protocols in line with government guidelines and informed by our recently reopened cinemas across Europe," said Toby Bradon, territory general Manager of Vue Entertainment in the U.K. "The safety of those who work and visit our sites is paramount and we’ve therefore taken the time to ensure protocols and staff training are in line with the latest guidance ahead of opening."

Fellow U.K. chain Odeon has already reopened several of its U.K. sites, while Cineworld is currently due to reopen July 31.