SCREEN NEWS: Cinema reopening dates confirmed

The government has announced two “no earlier than” dates for the easing of lockdown for screen venues: 12 April for drive-in cinemas & 17 May for indoor events.


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Ok, so we’re gonna run with this one… The government’s new roadmap appears to say that drive-in cinemas can reopen “no earlier than” 12 APR and indoor venues from 17 MAY. This is contingent upon 4 key tests being met for the further easing of restrictions between each phase, including vaccinations going to plan, reductions in death rates/hospitalisations, low infection rates, and the absence of further complicating variants. Which is quite a cluster of “ifs”…

Now, we could disappear down a rabbit hole of disputing the logic of all this, but my main thought is how do we now make sure there’s an alternative cinema scene worth returning to?

Fortunately, many indie venues have had COVID-relief funding, but I haven’t seen analysis to say that this has benefitted all our treasured venues or indeed if the funding is sufficient to see those that were successful through until the middle of May (or later if the “no earlier than” has meaning)?

Then there’s a question of how do we make sure indie exhibitors of all stripes have the support they need to get back into the darkness and have somewhere to project on affordable terms (for both venues and promoters)?

And, finally, how do we make sure audiences can find their way (with confidence…) to the unique content offered by London’s alternative cinema scene?

That’s more than enough for us to be chewing over, so let’s avoid the hot air and focus our minds.


Barker-In-Chief // RADIANT CIRCUS




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