Movies back on the big screen

Village Cinemas at Pacific Werribee will re-open this week. Pic of staff member Naomi Mason. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 210043_01

Big-screen movie magic is back.

The Village Cinema at Pacific Werribee is set to re-open tomorrow following the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Other Village Cinemas across the state are hoping to re-open later on next month, including the Sunshine movie theatre on July 20.

Village Entertainment chief executive Kirk Edwards said that he is optimistic about welcoming people back to cinemas, after sell-out crowds attended the reopening of the Coburg Drive-In earlier this month.

“Nothing compares to enjoying big movie moments come to life on the big screen and the blockbuster slate the second half of 2020 is very exciting,” Mr Edwards said.

“After months of self-isolating, an escape to the world of movies is the perfect opportunity to create those unforgettable shared moments with your loved ones.“

A survey of more than 10,000 members of Vrewards, Village Cinema’s rewards program, found that going to the cinema is the entertainment event that most people are looking forward to, following the “reopening of Australia”.

Village Cinemas has implemented several new health and safety measures for its reopening.

Social distancing measures will be enforced within foyers, restrooms and inside cinema auditoriums, with health and safety signage marking 1.5-metre distances.

Within auditoriums, reduced audience capacities will be implemented. Seating will be allocated to allow for every second row to be vacant, as well as for a two-seat gap on either side of each group of cinema-goers.

Additionally, hand sanitiser stations will be available, and more frequent and rigorous cleaning programs will be introduced.

Guests will be encouraged to pre-purchase their tickets and candy bar items online.

Cash payments will not be accepted at the candy bar or ticket box, and new queuing and customer flow measures will be introduced.

Under the direction of the Chief Health Officer, Village Cinemas will require the contact details of each ticket holder, in case the government needs them for virus-related contact tracing efforts.

All Village Cinemas staff will be required to complete a new health and safety training program, and will be required to undergo a health and temperature check before commencing their shift.

Staff will be also provided with approved personal protective equipment.