Tim Richards_credit Tim Bishoptimbismedia for Vue International

Source: Tim Bishop/timbismedia for Vue International

Vue International CEO Tim Richards

Exhibitor Vue International has responded to the UK government’s announcement that cinemas in England can reopen from July 4.

It will end more than three months of cinema closures as coronavirus lockdown measures continue to be eased across the country. Vue closed all its 91 cinemas throughout the UK and Ireland, comprising 870 screens, on March 17.

Vue International founder and CEO Tim Richards said: “We are waiting to see the specific advice from government, but we are ready and we welcome the reopening of cinemas. We will start reopening from July 10. After a record 2019, we know how important the big-screen experience is to people, and now more so than ever.

“We are confident we can look after our staff and our customers with enhanced protocols. By the time we reopen in the UK, our methods will have been responsibly and robustly deployed in the real world.”

Richards added the exhibitor would employ preventative measures that had been rolled out at its sites in Asia and Europe.

“We have learned how to do this from our operations in Taiwan where we never closed and have successfully operated through pandemics such as Sars in the past; and from our sites in Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland and Lithuania where we have recently and successfully reopened to the public,” he said.

“We know from independent academic research that cinemagoing has a positive impact on mental wellbeing and now it is more important than ever to make that experience available to people.”

The devolved UK nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have yet to announce reopening dates for cinemas.