Since we closed the doors to Belmont Filmhouse on March 18th we have been thinking about how and when we can welcome you back. Our cinema is a different place without our wonderful audience, amazing staff and our unique film programme. We can’t wait until we reopen and resume what we do, but our building and operation pose challenges that may require creative solutions.
When will we re-open?
We are tentatively considering an early September reopening.
Why aren’t we opening earlier?
We want to get this right. You told us in our customer survey that you trust us to open safely and we want to prove that trust has been well placed. We are reviewing and testing everything we do to ensure that our customers and staff feel confident they will be well looked after when we open our front doors.
We won’t rush this as it is too important. We have a challenging building with nooks and crannies and we have to plan how everything will work from the moment a customer thinks about booking a ticket and travels to us, until the time they have safely left the cinema and are returning home.
Also, as a charity we have to ensure our financial viability so that great cinema can be enjoyed for generations to come. That means we have a responsibility to take our time right now in making decisions that will have long term consequences.
Deciding when to re-open will carry risks. There will be additional costs in re-opening – both in terms of staffing and in putting in place appropriate public health measures. And with social distancing measures we will be able to welcome fewer people into the building, meaning less income. So we can only do it when we are confident that the time is right. There are a couple of things that are important to our decision making.
Firstly, the detail of what social distancing and hygiene measures will be required. Keeping people two metres apart in Belmont may not work. Thankfully, it looks increasingly likely that this will be one metre by the time we open, however, we still don’t know what additional precautions will be required to keep our customers and staff safe. We won’t re-open until we have put these precautions in place and have tested them.
Secondly, in July and August audiences are limited in a normal year. A combination of sunny days and a limited slate of new films, with the added pressure of current circumstance mean that opening in August may be a risky choice at exactly the time we shouldn’t be taking risks.
Over the next few weeks we will be involving more of our people in our re-opening plans, seeking their feedback, training them in new protocols and fine-tuning everything as we go. We will keep you updated on our plans to keep you safe and our re-opening dates as they firm up. We miss you and can’t wait to have you visit again, once we’re confident the cinema is ready. We’re doing everything we can to make sure this is as soon as possible.
In the meantime, if you've like to continue your support for Belmont Filmhouse and the work that we do you can donate to our fundraiser here.
If you have any questions or comments please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you.