Burnham-On-Sea’s Ritz Cinema will be re-opening on Friday July 10th, its owners have announced this week as they unveil a number of extra safety measures.
Owners Pat and Beryl Scott have been working for over a month on a numver of new measures to ensure staff and customers are kept safe amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given cinemas across the UK the go-ahead to re-open from July 4th during the next phase of the lockdown easing.
Talking to Burnham-On-Sea.com, Pat Scott says: “We are doing everything we can to make the cinema as safe as possible so customers have the confidence to come back to the cinema and support us during these difficult times.”
“We are following the guidance set out by the Government and the UK Film Council to ensure safety is as high as possible. A full risk assessment has been undertaken.”
“When visitors come into the cinema building there will be hand sanitizers and they will be encouraged with signs to keep two metres apart in the foyers.”
“Our box office area will be manned by just one member of staff at a time and there will be extra screens around the tills to increase safety for staff and customers.”
“We will be encouraging payments by contactless cards rather than cash.“
“We also have a new computer system for allocating seating which ensures that customers are kept one metre apart in the cinema screens, unless they are in family groups.”
He adds: “At the end of each screening, customers will leave via the nearest exit. We have adjusted the timings of our performances to ensure there are adequate gaps for people to leave and arrive while maintaining social distancing.”
“The cinema seating, arm rests and toilets will be fully cleaned in between screenings to ensure safety and hygiene are always kept high.“
“All our staff will be given masks and gloves to keep them safe as well.”
Pat thanked the Ritz Social Club, which owns the building, for reducing the cinema’s rent charges during the enforced closure. “The financial support of our landlord and the club’s manager, Paul Hale, and his team has been hugely appreciated. While the cinema has been closed, the bills have still been coming in.”
Pat adds: “The extra safety measures have been a challenge to put in place, but we’re anxious to re-open again as soon as possible while ensuring safety.”
“We need to be open to keep running and we really hope that our local customers will give us their support.”