Fylde coast cinemas get ready to roll titles from May 17 after months of lockdown

Lockdown restrictions easing from Monday May 17 means the swap from Netflix on the small screen to blockbusters on the big screen once again.

Saturday, 15th May 2021, 12:30 pm

It has been a turbulent year for the film industry, as cinemas nationwide were ordered to close by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in March and then again in November under lockdown rules to tackle the spread of Covid.

The Oscars were awarded without any of the nominees having been on the screen, and cinema closures saw a shift towards home streaming for many people craving the big screen experience.

But in truth, that experience cannot be replicated at home, and film buffs across the country have eagerly awaited the return of cinemas from Monday.

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Richard Taylor, owner of the Regent Cinema in Church Street, is excited for people to come back to the Big Screen again after lockdown. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

Vue Cinema in North Promenade, Cleveleys and the Odeon in Rigby Road, Blackpool will be among those opening on Monday - with new releases and assurances that safety measures will be in place for the optimum viewing experience.

Sarah Hitchen, general manager at Vue Cleveleys, said: "We can’t wait to safely welcome back our staff and customers in Cleveleys from 17 May.

"The response from the team has been really positive, and customers can expect the big screen experience to be as magical as ever.

"Of course we’ve been preparing to reopen as safely as possible too, with physically distanced seating aided by developments in online booking, enhanced cleaning, reduced touchpoints throughout our venues, enhanced ventilation systems, and staff in PPE."

Vue Cinema Cleveleys general manager Sarah Hitchen gets ready to open the doors to the public from Monday. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

Carol Welch, managing director of Odeon Cinemas Group UK and Ireland added: “I am delighted to be welcoming guests back to experience the joy of the big screen at Odeon on

May 17.

"We've all missed the magic that the cinema brings to movie watching, and we know our guests are excited about coming back. We are sure they will enjoy the great new offers that

make their movie experiences better than ever."

Social distancing measures are in place and staff will wear PPE at Vue in Cleveleys. Picture: Daniel Martino/JPI Media

Blackpool's Regent Cinema will be opening to the public on Friday May 21 - and owner Richard Taylor is looking forward to pulling up the curtain and welcoming back residents and visitors for Friday night films.

The Regent, in Church Street, will kick off the season with cult classic Pulp Fiction, and a live pianist will play alongside two silent Buster Keaton films at the end of the month.

Richard has also come up with an innovative way to bring the big screen back to life - by celebrating Christmas in June.

"Why not, everyone loves Christmas don't they?" Richard said.

Sarah Hitchen, general manager at Vue in Cleveleys.

"It was our manager Carole's idea - we just thought now that people can come back and visit in groups, which they couldn't do over Christmas, it would be a good thing to do.

"We've missed out, and people love coming here at Christmas, it's an old place and it makes you feel festive.

"What better way to celebrate putting the last year to bed?"

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