This is a photograph of rows of empty cinema seats inside Genesis Cinema's main auditorium.

SCREEN NEWS: Indoor venues can resume cinema screenings from 17 May 2021

Widely anticipated yet warmly welcomed, the UK government has confirmed that indoor venues in England can resume cinema screenings from 17 May whilst retaining social distancing rules.

By RADIANT CIRCUS // Twitter @radiantcircus / Instagram @radiantcircus

We’re posting this news more to mark a milestone than to bring you information you won’t yet know. The UK government’s reopening roadmap for England and the effectiveness of measures to curb COVID-19 have been widely broadcast. But that doesn’t stop the final confirmation bringing tears to our eyes.

It’s time to get going again… We’ve already resumed our coverage of venue’s reopening programmes and the repertory seasons that will be filling some of their big screens from next week (both indoors and out). We’re also tracking reopening dates in our venue A-Z as not all venues will be open on day 1. We will keep doing our best to bring you news of what’s on across London’s DIY, indie and alternative cinema scene.

The only thing that we haven’t covered in any detail is what’s exactly allowed in terms of cinema bookings at this stage (you might be as confused as we are…). The Barbican Centre has this simple statement on their booking pages, and it seems as succinct a clarification as we could find:

“From 17 May (and unless guidance changes) six people or two households of any size can visit together as a group. Until guidance changes, we’ve created socially-distanced seating clusters. Please only sit directly beside someone from your household or support bubble, and avoid moving seats when you arrive, so we can keep a safe distance between you and other groups.”


Got that? Check with your chosen venues for all their operating procedures and COVID-safety guidelines.

The next major stage on the UK government’s roadmap is the anticipated removal of all legal restrictions introduced as part of their COVID-19 control measures. That’s scheduled for 21 June 2021. Let’s hope we can all arrive there without too much more trauma… Until then, we intend to thoroughly enjoy getting back into the darkness to see some cinema with you all (even if we have to remain a few seats apart for now…).

See you in the darkness,





RADIANT CIRCUS is powered by monthly subscribers. 40% of fees supports indie cinema events across London. JOIN US!

*THE SMALL PRINT: Opinions author’s own. // As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any errors. Updates & corrections will be made to the online version only. // Event dates/times/formats are subject to change by the venue/organiser. Events may already be sold out at the time of posting, so please click quickly. // We try to list as many original format screenings as we can (8 to 70MM), but sometimes formats change due to age of the print, availability, logistics etc, so please check ahead with your venue if the format is your thing. // All images are used in the spirit of fair use for reporting & review – no ownership is implied or intended / unless otherwise credited to RADIANT CIRCUS as the original rights holder. We will remove any images immediately upon request – just get in touch. // We don’t filter our listings by age/certification: all readers & subscribers should therefore be 18+. // Finally, we always try to follow The Carny Code by “not screwing up anyone else’s game”, but everyone can make mistakes… If something does go wrong, we will always do our best to put it right. //.