Mareel to open its cinema at reduced capacity and with no new blockbusters

Film fans have been told to  expect changes when Mareel opens its cinema again later this week.

Jenny Leask, film programme manager, said that while she was “absolutely delighted” to be reopening on Friday, there would also be restrictions.

Writing in a blog, Ms Leask said films would only be showing in cinema one as physical distancing requirement meant it was not practical to reopen cinema two. As a result, fewer films will be on show, to begin with.

Ms Leask also said regular slots, such as Screen Horizons – which showcases independent and world cinema, classic films and documentaries – will not be running, although they are hoped to return “as soon as possible”.

 “We have also decided not to show big films like Tenet on release as, due to the distribution deal, it would be the only film we could show for two weeks, and we want to cater for as many of you as possible,” she added.

“No new titles have been released in the summer, with all the cinemas closed, but there were plenty of films we were scheduled to show before lockdown so we’re now able to catch up with those.

“I’ve tried to include a wide variety of films in our programme, so hopefully there’ll be something for everyone.”

Bookings can only be made online until the building reopens. The system is set up to to automatically block off seats around each booking, keeping the appropriate distance between customers.

Customers making group bookings are asked to ensure all the people in that group are in the same bubble –  and to book tickets at the same time if they want to sit together.

Face coverings must be worn in the cinema other than when eating or drinking. Customers are asked to take their own rubbish with them at the end of the film and put it in the bins provided.

Cinemas will be thoroughly cleaned between each screening and hand sanitiser is available throughout the building.

“We’ll keep you posted on any new developments, and please rest assured we’re all working hard to make your visit a safe and enjoyable one,” Ms Leask said.

“See you at the cinema.”

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