With Government plans seemingly still in place for cinemas to reopen as of 4th July, and with Cineworld announcing plans to align with this date, one question that is ringing very loudly in our ears over here at Royston Picture Palace is: just because we are allowed to reopen, does that mean that we should?
It goes without saying that our priority when making a decision around reopening is the safety and wellbeing of our customers, staff and volunteers. So we’ve been scrutinising every aspect of a trip to our cinemas to determine if, how and where we can input measures and practices to keep everyone as safe as possible – from queue markers and one-way signage through to safely spaced seating and enhanced cleaning. Until we can be sure that we can reopen safely, and in line with government guidelines, then Royston Picture Palace will be remaining closed.
Alongside our Risk Assessment, the financial feasibility of safely reopening also needs to be considered. Vastly reduced seating capacities (to adhere with social distancing rules), a reduced number of screenings (to allow for increased cleaning responsibilities) as well as the increased costs associated with opening safely (such as additional staff, the implementation of social distancing practices, PPE, enhanced cleaning etc) all need to be taken into account when making what we hope will be a lasting decision.
In order to open in a way that ensures everyone’s safety and maximises the chances of long-term survival for both cinemas, we have made the decision that we will not be reopening Royston Picture Palace until, at the earliest, August 2020. With regards to our future financial stability, we will also be making further efforts to reduce our day-to-day operating costs - and this means that for the short term at least (certainly for June), we will be significantly reducing our activity and communications. Whilst this means you will be hearing less from us for now, rest assured that we are working hard to find the best and safest way for us to open as soon as possible, and will be in touch as soon as we have more news.
We really appreciate the support of all our customers during these difficult times and look forward to welcoming you back through the doors of Royston Picture Palace as soon as we can. Do keep an eye on your inbox, our websites and social media pages for future updates, and feel free to get in touch via [email protected] if you have any questions.