Cinema chains have revealed the physical changes they have made and the strict new rules they are introducing as they make plans to reopen next month.
Cinemas could throw open their doors as early as July 4, so long as they make changes to comply with social distancing rules and guidance.
Cineworld plans to reopen all branches in England on July 10 with a new digital bookings system that will involve visitors checking in before watching a film, reports The Mirror.
New measures will include updated seating maps to space viewers out while all customers will have to book and confirm via a virtual bookings system.
A spokesman said: “We are excited to announce that we are planning to reopen Cineworld Cinemas across England on 10th July 2020.
“The opening date is subject to final clarifications and confirmation in regards to UK government restrictions, with dates to follow for our cinemas in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.”
Cineworld, which has 787 outlets globally, said there will be social distancing when venues reopen, with new handwashing stations.
Tickets will be booked in advance on the company website or app – and confirmation emails will be sent in advance of bookings.
New seating maps will also be in place to “allow friends and family to sit together while ensuring a safe distance between customers from different households”.
But the measures will vary based on the capacity and layout of each screen.
Film start and end times will be staggered to reduce customer interaction, while plastic screens will be placed at the till and PPE will be provided to employees, the company added.
Chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: “We are thrilled to be back and encouraged by recent surveys that show that many people have missed going to the movie theatre.
“With a strong slate confirmed for the coming weeks, including among others Tenet, Mulan, A Quiet Place Part II, Wonder Women 1984, Black Widow, Bond, Soul, Top Gun Maverick and many more, the entire Cineworld team remains committed to being “the best place to watch a movie”.”
Vue, another of the UK’s biggest cinema chains, has said it will reopen on July 4 if given the green light from ministers.