A popular coastal cinema has closed temporarily amid the continuing coronavirus crisis.

But management at the popular East Coast Cinema in Lowestoft have vowed “we will be back” after announcing its temporary closure “with a heavy heart.”

The cinema, which took over the former Lowestoft Hollywood site on London Road South in October 2009, made the announcement on Wednesday night (March 18).

A post on the East Coast Cinema Facebook page from owner Michael Hansell and his team said: “We’re closed.

“With a heavy heart it is my sad duty to inform everybody that along with the majority of cinemas, theatres and similar venues across the country we have decided to close our doors to support the Government policy of no unnecessary social contact.”

Eastern Daily Press: Michael Hansell, East Coast Cinema’s owner with some of the team. Picture: FilmediaMichael Hansell, East Coast Cinema’s owner with some of the team. Picture: Filmedia (Image: Archant)

In recent weeks, the cinema had become one of the first in the country to restrict capacities to 50 per cent, as guests were able to spread out across the auditoriums.

The management said: “Some of you may have noticed that we’re a little later than some others this week in closing.

“This is due to confusion with our insurance company about voluntary closure and how that affects cover.

“This isn’t resolved but we can’t in good conscience stay open any longer.

“We have not attempted to promote the fact we’re open during this time and when anybody who has asked, we have advised them to follow government advice.

“We have, of course, been very proactive in keeping our cinema sanitary and were one of the first cinemas in the country to restrict capacities to 50pc to allow people to spread out in the auditoriums.”

They added: “We have been very impressed with the way most people have followed the advice of the government.

“Our admissions dropped significantly the day after the social distancing announcement and its a credit to the local people of Lowestoft that clearly want to support the community.

“We are with you 100pc.

“We wish all our customers, their families and friends, a very safe time through the growing pandemic.

“Hopefully the government will get the response they need from this policy and the spread of Covid-19 slows down enough for the NHS to work effectively.

“We will be back.”