U.K. Cinemas Setting Sights on Reopening in Late June

Courtesy of Cineworld

Cineworld in London's Leicester Square

The British exhibition industry has been in discussions with the government on the safeguards needed to protect both audiences and staff.

The U.K. exhibition industry is hoping that it will be able to reopen cinemas at the end of June and has been in discussions with the British government on the safeguards needed to protect both audiences and staff. 

The dialogue between U.K. movie theaters — which all closed the week of March 16 as the novel coronavirus pandemic took hold — and the authorities was confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter by U.K. Cinema Association CEO Phil Clapp. However, he added that there was no date for when any official announcement might be forthcoming.

"We are aware that government will have a host of considerations when deciding on when to allow U.K. sites to reopen. We have no timeline on when that decision will be made," he said.

Speaking to THR last week, Tim Richards, founder and CEO of U.K.-based European cinema giant Vue, said that he had been eyeing June for a "soft opening" of his firm's sites. "I can see us hitting the ground running sometime in July," he said. "And with Christopher Nolan's Tenet on July 17, we're potentially looking at a major, major blockbuster film really kickstarting the business again."

U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson will deliver a speech on Sunday about the gradual lifting of the U.K.'s lockdown measures, which have been in place since March 23. However, while schools and some places of work are expected to be discussed, it is not known whether entertainment venues will be part of these initial stages of economic reopening.