Palace Cinema in Broadstairs has launched a public survey asking for views on when and how the independent picture house should open.
The venue, run by Corinna Downing and Simon Ward since 2016, had to close its doors in March, along with other businesses, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But now, as restrictions are being eased in a phased process, the couple are hoping to get views of how next to proceed.
Cinemas around the world are all included in their government’s phased exit strategies. In the UK, cinemas are represented by the UK Cinema Association which liaises and supports government planning. Step 3 of the UK exit strategy announced on May 10 indicated that cinemas could potentially open from July 4 if they meet ‘Covid-19 Secure guidelines’ for social distancing and hygiene.
If this date is possible it would mean that cinemas would be open in time to generate income from director Christopher Nolan’s new sci fi blockbuster TENET, still currently due for release on July 17.
The Independent Cinema Office, the national body representing the UK’s independent cinemas, surveyed independent cinemas, film festivals and community venues to create a picture of their views on proposals for re-opening. The results more cautious than the commercial chains currently preparing to re-open.
The three big questions for cinemas everywhere are:
- Can they open safely, and how many of their audience will feel safe enough to return?
- How will the additional staff and materials’ costs involved in being ‘Covid-19 Secure’ and the reduced admissions due to social distancing impact on expenditure/income?
- What films will be available to rent, from the backlog of releases delayed since April and upcoming titles?
Corinna said: “Like many small businesses hit by the coronavirus, we are lucky to have lots of local support and we wish to preserve our audience’s loyalty and goodwill right through to when we can return to the varied film programme and comfortable, cheerful experience as before.”
The cinema would like its audience’s views and has created a very short anonymous survey for feedback. The survey closes on June 8.
Find it here: https://thepalacecinema.co.uk/production/closed-for-now/