‘Give us a date when NI cinemas can open’ pleads Movie House boss as England and Ireland get firm timetable

Michael McAdam said every screen has socially distanced seating plansMichael McAdam said every screen has socially distanced seating plans
Michael McAdam said every screen has socially distanced seating plans
The head of Movie House Cinemas, which operates four cinemas in Northern Ireland, has asked for the government to give them a firm date for reopening.

Michael McAdam – whose company has screens in Belfast (Yorkgate), Glengormley, Coleraine and Maghera – said that both England and Ireland already has such dates.

He said that whilst they have put a lot of measures in place to cope with social distancing, they cannot order food for example until they know when there will be customers to buy it.

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In a statement at the weekend the managing director said “without a date we are still in limbo”.

He said there are new socially distanced seating plans for every screen.

Adjustments have been made to its ventilation systems to allow for increased fresh air.

Movie House Cinemas’ booking software will automatically remove seats surrounding each group when a customer buys tickets online so families or friends can sit together but others won’t be directly next to them.

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“However, there are many things it can’t do until a date is given,” he said.

“This includes bringing in staff to start new health and safety training, ordering in food products and preparing projectors to operate once more.

“We appreciate the Executive has a difficult job to do but I feel that we should be in line with our counterparts in the Republic and England.

“Cinemas right across Northern Ireland have been working hard to ensure the safety of their customers and staff and we are ready to open. All we need is for our government to give us a date.”

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He said that on June 29 English cinemas are allowed to reopen, and that Irish ones can reopen from July 4.

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