Here are the measures Abbeygate Cinema is taking to be Covid-secure
- Credit: RACHEL EDGE
A cinema in Bury St Edmunds is introducing a concierge to greet customers, a dedicated hand wash point and distanced allocated seating among measures to prepare for reopening.
There will be a phased reopening of screenings at Abbeygate Cinema in Abbeygate Street from Friday, July 10, while its No.4 Restaurant & Bar opens tomorrow, July 4.
MORE: Suffolk cinemas prepare to reopen after lockdownThe restaurant will be open daily from 10am to 3pm for a dine-in menu and all items will also be available for take-out along with their usual freshly baked take-out goods.
When cinema screenings return there will be a selection of favourite film titles, hits of the last few years and audience requests, plus Screen Arts highlights (of theatre, ballet, opera and live music), played over matinee and teatime.
Moving forward, the plan is to increase opening hours and build the film programme as new releases become available, all leading to the unveiling of the new full-size screen and state of the art projector at the end of July.
In light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and government advice, Abbeygate Cinema has put a number of safety measures in place to achieve a safe environment for employees and customers.
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•A ‘concierge’ will greet all customers for restaurant and cinema at the entrance door to help with directing them to the right part of the building. This member of staff will also take details to support the NHS trace service (if applicable);
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•Unless dining there, cinema customers are asked to arrive no more than 15 minutes before the show start time;
MORE: Historic cinema uses lockdown to continue major renovation work•Hand sanitiser will be readily available throughout the building and a dedicated hand wash point has been installed so people can wash their hands without having to visit the toilets;
•Protective screens have been installed at the box office/kiosk and bar serving points;
•To maintain social distancing there will be extra staff on duty to assist and direct, floor markings to help with queuing and a one-way system around the building;
•Staff and customers will be required to wear a face mask in the more constricted transit spaces upstairs, but this will not be necessary on the ground floor. Customers are welcome to wear their own – one can be provided if they don’t have one. Once at their cinema seat, or back downstairs, they can remove the face mask;
•A new allocated seating system will ensure a safe distance between customers from different households;
•Film start and end times will be more greatly staggered than normal to allow customers to enter and exit without crossing paths with customers going in or out of other screens;
•Customers are encouraged to book in advance and cash will not be accepted for in-person sales. There will be an online pre-ordering service for the kiosks;
•All dining spaces will have two-metre distancing between tables. People are encouraged to book online here. Customers can pay their bill at the table too with card payments. An ‘Order at Table’ online system will be introduced in the coming days to enable customers to place direct food orders through to the kitchen.
A spokeswoman said: “As always, the health and wellbeing of our employees and customers is our number one priority.”