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Cinema delays re-opening date after projectors ‘go to sleep’

PUBLISHED: 19:35 02 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:49 03 July 2020

The Gorleston Palace cinema has introduced several measures to keep customers safe when it reopens. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Gorleston Palace cinema has introduced several measures to keep customers safe when it reopens. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A coastal cinema has been forced to delay re-opening this Saturday after 14 weeks of inactivity “sent their projectors to sleep”.

The Gorleston Palace cinema has faced a temporary setback to re-opening, but will be back in action from Monday, July 6. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Gorleston Palace cinema has faced a temporary setback to re-opening, but will be back in action from Monday, July 6. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Palace Cinema in Gorleston was hoping to open its doors to the public on July 4, but the date has been pushed back until next Monday over a technical problem.

Patrick Duffy, managing director of Palace Bingo and Palace Cinema, said he was “disappointed” at the change in plans, but stressed that families would be offered “a healthy discount” at the box office when the cinema did finally welcome back guests.

He said: “We were hoping to re-open this Saturday with three out of four screens in action. But because the projectors have been ‘powered down’ for almost four months now, they’ve sort of gone to sleep and will require new parts.

“We did turn the projectors on every couple of weeks to check they were okay during lockdown, but apparently we should’ve been running the actual film reels. Of course, we couldn’t have known that given we’ve never been in this situation before.”

Patrick Duffy, 65, managing director of Palace Bingo and the Palce Cinema in Gorleston High Street, has taken the coronavirus threat very seriously from the start. He was one of the first establishments to introduce temperature checks before people entered his Bingo Hall back in March. Picture: Daniel Hickey.Patrick Duffy, 65, managing director of Palace Bingo and the Palce Cinema in Gorleston High Street, has taken the coronavirus threat very seriously from the start. He was one of the first establishments to introduce temperature checks before people entered his Bingo Hall back in March. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

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Mr Duffy had hoped the emergency parts would arrive in time for Friday, July 3.

But since this unprecedented technical fault has befallen a number of cinemas across the country, the parts are in high demand and supplies are running low.

Nevertheless, Mr Duffy said that the cinema has an “exciting programme” to offer come next week, with a “fantastic deal” for families that will give them a good excuse to leave the house.

He said: “The kids’ club will now be running all day Saturday and Sunday, while adult tickets will only be £5 and child tickets £4.

Flashback: Patrick Duffy, 65, managing director of Palace Bingo, testing the temperature of customer Brenda Llwellyn, 74, as a precaution over the coronavirus outbreak back at the beginning of March. Picture: Daniel Hickey.Flashback: Patrick Duffy, 65, managing director of Palace Bingo, testing the temperature of customer Brenda Llwellyn, 74, as a precaution over the coronavirus outbreak back at the beginning of March. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

“We want to make sure families can enjoy a day out for £20 or less, as that’s what the public need and deserve.”

Despite only being able to run at 40pc capacity due to social distancing measures, the programme is jam-packed, showing a varied mix of ‘oldies’ and the pre-lockdown box office hits which nobody got to see.

These are: Military Wives (12A), Onward (U), Call of the Wild (PG), Misbehaviour (12A), Dark Waters (12A), Bohemian Rhapsody (12A) and The Greatest Showman (PG).

Mr Duffy said: “We’ve got temperature scanners at the door and implemented extensive distancing measures.

“This will be the next safest place outside your own home.”


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