Cinemas will start to reopen in the UK next Monday (May 17) so we can finally see new releases again on the big screen.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on May 10 that the plans for the next stage of lifting lockdown in England could go ahead as planned, so that means cinemas can finally reopen in the country.
Scotland and Wales have set the same May 17 reopening date and Northern Ireland is a week later on May 24.
Vue has announced it'll be reopening all 88 of its UK sites on May 17, with tickets available to pre-book now for the opening week. As before, there will be physically distanced seating, enhanced cleaning and ventilation systems, and reduced touchpoints.
During this latest lockdown, Vue has added nearly 5,000 luxury recliner seats across its cinemas, as well as snack and seat self-order screeners in seven of its venues.
ODEON was the first of the three major chains in the UK to confirm their reopening for the "vast majority" of their sites on May 17, including their flagship ODEON Luxe Leicester Square, ODEON Trafford Centre and ODEON Luxe Birmingham Broadway Plaza.
As expected, the plan for reopening is similar to when they reopened in late summer last year, so there will be staggered start times, limits on the number of seats sold, enhanced cleaning and you'll need to wear a suitable face covering.
Cineworld has also confirmed that it will be reopening all of its cinemas in England on May 19, with the reopening of their remaining cinemas to be announced "in due course".
As with the other chains, the company has confirmed that safety measures such as face coverings, social distancing, staggered film times and contactless payment are in place for the reopening.
BFI Southbank has also confirmed its plans to reopen on May 17 with health and safety measures, such as social distancing and the wearing of face coverings, to continue until government guidance advises otherwise.
During this lockdown, the BFI Southbank's largest cinema, NFT1, has undergone improvements such as a new projector and sound system. Screenings once they reopen include extended runs of awards favourites First Cow, Nomadland and Ammonite.
Curzon and Everyman has also confirmed plans to reopen their cinemas come May 17, but it may not apply to all sites, while independent cinemas such as HOME in Manchester and London's Prince Charles Cinema are also set to reopen on the same date.
However, there will still be an exciting crop of new releases awaiting you when cinemas reopen on May 17, including big-screen outings for some movies that have been released digitally in the past weeks.
This is subject to change, but here's what is currently set for release on May 17 and the opening week of cinemas:
Peter Rabbit 2
Spiral: From the Book of Saw
Those Who Wish Me Dead
Sound of Metal
Maya the Bee 3: The Golden Orb
A Space in Time
The Lady in the Portrait
Rare Beasts (May 21)
The United Way (May 21)
My New York Year (May 21)
The Human Factor (May 21)
State Funeral (May 21)
Drive-in cinemas are also now open in England as they were part of the previous set of changes, which came into effect on April 12.
It's not quite the dark of the cinema, but at least there's only a week to wait until they can open on May 17 in England, Scotland and Wales, with Northern Ireland following soon after that too.
The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
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