“When are you reopening?”
“When are you re-opening?” A question I get asked everywhere I go, it’s like 2017 all over again.
But really, thanks for your interest and enthusiasm for us to get the doors open again.
Cinemas in Scotland are permitted to open from July 15th. We will not be opening on that date. We’re keen to get going again but there are a number of criteria to be met before we can welcome you back. These include satisfying the government approved guidelines (which we’re hoping to see soon!), implementation of health and safety measures, ensuring financial viability and a sufficient level of customer demand. That last one is particularly related to the films that will be available. At the moment it’s pretty slim pickings!
It’s important to us that when we open we do it right, we do it safely and we do it in a manner that protects the future of the business.
The guidelines will certainly require social distancing and other health and safety measures, and these will inevitably dictate the facilities that can be made available. For instance, the cafe area may well have to be used exclusively for socially-distanced queueing, and safe access and egress to and from the auditoria has to be assured. It is quite possible that cafe facilities will not be allowed, and an important income stream would therefore be lost.
The viability will depend not only on the ‘offer’ that can be made available (including for instance suitably popular films and carry-out drinks etc.), but also a public sufficiently confident to provide the audience levels required to cover the costs.
All Independent Cinemas are facing this conundrum, and many have already declared that they will not be opening until late August or September due to the extent of the challenges faced.
The last four months have been financially tough for us. The costs of looking after our 107 year old building are significant even when it’s closed. Reopening comes with its own costs and, as charity, we have a responsibility not only for the short term but also to ensure financial viability for the future.
We have cancelled all future screenings and I have contacted those who booked their tickets online to arrange refunds. I’m still to hear from a few people so please check for an e-mail (possibly in the Spam folder). There are a handful of people who bought their tickets at the kiosk so I don’t have contact details. If you’re one of those people please e-mail [email protected] so I can sort you out. If you have a Supporter Card, hold on to it, we’ll be extending the expiry date by however many weeks we end up being shut.
We’ll keep you updated with information and will make an announcement as soon as we have set a date.
If you are in a position to give us a wee hand with our ongoing maintenance costs there are details on how to donate here. Thank you.