In accordance with guidance set out by the government, cinemas will be re-opening across the country from Monday 17th May. You can find further information on the UK Government website.

The Bigger Picture have compiled information regarding governmental announcements surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic here. The Independent Cinema Office have also created an extensive list of resources to provide support and advice regarding COVID-19 which you can read here.

With cinemas beginning to reopen across the country, audiences and exhibitors will be looking to stay safe and make sure that cinemas remain a safe place to visit as time goes on. This page is a resource for exhibitors and audiences alike to learn what measures are being put in place to keep audiences safe in light of indoor cinemas reopening.

Exhibitors

It is important for your cinema to adhere to safety guidance outlined by the government. Cinemas – keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19, has been produced by the UK Cinema Association in consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with input from the BFI, the Independent Cinema Office and BECTU, and in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive. An update is coming soon for this resource and this link will be updated when that update occurs. The guidelines have been developed to provide a starting point for cinemas across the UK in ensuring the continued safety of both audiences and staff in relation to COVID-19.

In the lead-up and immediate aftermath of cinemas reopening, as a film exhibitor you can appeal greatly to an audience who are excited to return to cinemas for potentially the first time in over a year. BFI FAN has created a document detailing points that FAN members might want to think about when communicating with their audiences at this time. FAN membership is of course very diverse and each venue has its own context, capacity and timetable, but we hope that elements of this guide will be useful, whatever stage your organisation may be at in your plan to reopen. View the document here.

The Independent Cinema Office has partnered with Indigo Ltd to develop the Culture Restart Cinema Tracker, a tool to help venues respond to and build confidence in audiences ahead of reopening. The data collected during Indigo's previous surveys has informed business planning and audience strategy in cultural organisations across the UK.

The Film Exhibition Fund was created to support organisations as they restart in-person screenings of British, international and independent cinema. Funding of up to £5,000 is available for activity taking place between June 2021 - March 2022. Support can go towards a range of costs – such as programming, marketing and staffing - on projects which present culturally valuable film programmes and broaden audiences for independent cinema.

If you work in cinema, the current situation may be making you feel anxious. But it’s important to remember that you’re part of a creative community, and support is available. The Film & TV charity have created an important resource which centres on wellbeing for cinema workers. Speak to your employer about guidance and resources they might be able to offer. To access the resource and more information on support click here.

Exterior of The Lexi Cinema in Brent
Film Hub London Exhibitors Breakfast: Reopening

Join us on Friday 7 May 2021 from 10am to 12pm for an online edition of Film Hub London Exhibitors' Breakfast centred around Reopening. Film Hub London and the BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN) invite FAN members and delegates working in the exhibition sector to a morning of online presentations focused on maximising audiences as we reopen from 17th May. BIFA (British Independent Film Awards) and Cinema First will present their campaigns to welcome audiences back to the cinemas and Charles Gant will take us through the key independent cinema releases of the coming months. Afterwards, exhibitors will have the chance to meet distributors virtually in small groups to talk further about the highlighted titles on the online platform. The event is open to Film Hub London members and FAN members from across the UK. For more information and to register click here!


Audiences

The latest government guidance regarding COVID-19 can be found here.

If you are looking ahead to attending the cinema again when they reopen on Monday 17th May, you may wish to know in advance the safety measures that are being put in place to protect you at the cinema. Cinemas – keeping workers and customers safe during COVID-19 provides the most comprehensive look at the measures being put in place by cinemas. An update is coming soon for this resource and this link will be updated when that update occurs.

A number of films are already scheduled for release in the first week of cinemas re-opening, including multiple Oscar-winners The Father, Nomadland and The Sound of Metal. Other films in wide release in the initial weeks after reopening include Peter Rabbit 2, Minari, A Quiet Place Part II and Another Round. A full list of upcoming major releases can be found here.

Even while some cinemas remain closed there are still lots of ways to support your local cinema. We've created a resource to help you help our Film Hub London members. Click here to find out ways you can support.