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When will cinemas reopen in the UK?

What the government’s post-lockdown plans mean for your local picture house

Phil de Semlyen

Remember going to the cinema? How good was that?! Well, there’s finally a glint of projector light at the end of a very long tunnel for the UK’s cinemas – and for us, the people who love going to them. According to Boris Johnson’s latest speech, May 17 is the date when they will be allowed to reopen their doors.

Step 3 in the government’s freshly announced plan to get the country out of lockdown and back to normality provides for ‘indoor meetings under the rule of six’. This will include cinemas, as well as pubs, restaurants, hotels, theatres, concert halls and sporting stadia – with capacity limits. 

What are the capacity limits? That’s still ‘TBC’. But expect cinemas to be waiting for an answer to that before committing to reopening their doors. Last year’s re-opening/closing/reopening cycle was a costly exercise for many of those that did decide to fire up their projectors last summer, and again in November.

The other unique factor for cinemas, of course, is the supply of films, especially blockbuster releases, to draw cinemagoers back in. Currently, June, with Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and July, with Shang Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, Top Gun Maverick and Uncharted, look the most punter-friendly months. The R-number Hollywood is most interested in is revenue (and the Rock’s phone number, at a push), but those films may be joined by others if the positive news continues.

More news on the UK’s reopening:

When will shops reopen?

When will restaurants reopen?

When will gyms reopen?

When will hairdressers reopen?

When will bars and pubs reopen?

When can I take a day trip?

When can I go on holiday?

When will hotels reopen?

When will campsites reopen?

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