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Movie fans urged to rekindle their love for big screen as lockdown eases

PUBLISHED: 12:53 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:53 14 July 2020

Arc Cinema in Great Yarmouth is keen to get back to some sort of normality and encourage people into theatres to watch films on the big screen Picture: Darren Hodges

Arc Cinema in Great Yarmouth is keen to get back to some sort of normality and encourage people into theatres to watch films on the big screen Picture: Darren Hodges

Archant

Cinemas hoping to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic are having an extra tough time as distributors delay premieres, depriving theatres of a summer blockbuster boost.

Social distancing measures maked out outside Great Yarmouth's Arc Cinema Picture: Derren HodgesSocial distancing measures maked out outside Great Yarmouth's Arc Cinema Picture: Derren Hodges

So while they are allowed to open, audiences have been slower than expected to return.

In Great Yarmouth Derren Hodges, manager of the newly-refurbished Arc Cinema on the famous Golden Mile, said he was pulling out all the stops to encourage movie fans back into the theatre.

He said the initial response to reopening had been disappointing, but that there were multiple factors.

MORE: Everything you need to know about Norfolk’s cinemas reopening

People, he said, were understandably cautious about the transmission of Covid-19 and had got used to watching what they wanted on demand at home.

Great Yarmouth's Arc Cinema on the Golden Mile says it is doing all it can to comply with Government guidelines and make its screens safe Picture: Derren HodgesGreat Yarmouth's Arc Cinema on the Golden Mile says it is doing all it can to comply with Government guidelines and make its screens safe Picture: Derren Hodges

However, at The Arc everything was being done to provide a big screen experience in safety and comfort, he said.

“We feel that for an indoor venue we are one of the safest with cleaning, and queue barriers, and PPE.

“We are trying to create as normal an experience as possible abiding by social distancing.”

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He said there was a one way system throughout.

“The staff clean from the moment they come in to the moment they go home,” he said.

The venue is also looking at ticket prices and picking films from a back catalogue, including those from the Star Wars series, which are best viewed on the big screen.

Socially distanced seating is automatically allocated at the point of booking with two seats either side kept free.

With films like the latest Bond movie now delayed until December and the release date of Christopher Nolan blockbuster Tenet put back, as well as some movie makers opting to bypass the cinema altogether and release online, he acknowledged the industry faced challenges.

However, the cinema, which only reopened in December after a multi-million pound refurbishment, is keen to welcome people back and encourage them to remain loyal and love their local cinema.

“It is disappointing for myself and the staff when we are coming in to work and enjoy engaging with customers, and we like really big turnouts,” he said.

“We all want to be busy and return to some sort of normality.

“We are here and we are open and we want to see the community.”


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