Harrogate cinema reopens but will Hollywood blockbusters be released?

Cinemas are beginning to reopen in Harrogate after lockdown, as permitted under the rules of both Tier 1 and Tier 2.

Friday, 4th December 2020, 2:43 pm

In the case of the Harrogate district, this does not mean they will all be welcoming film-goers back.

Everyman cinema in Harrogate did reopen earlier this week on Wednesday, with a programme of family favourites and streamed events plus critically-acclaimed new indie and house movies, including brand new release Mank starring Gary Oldman as Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz.

Everyman cinema in Harrogate has reopened with a brand new release Mank starring Gary Oldmand as Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz.

The Harrogate Odeon, on the other hand, has yet to announce any date for reopening.

Once again in this Covid year, the problem is Hollywood’s reluctance to unleash the big blockbusters at a time of much-reduced capacities and revenue opportunities.

Although Tier 1 and Tier 2 rules allow cinemas to reopen, Tier 3 rules do not.

On top of this, Tier 3 rules do not. And even in the lower tiers there are restrictions which affect cinemas capacity and potential revenue.

For example, in Tier 2, you can only go to the cinema with members of your own household, in a group of up to six and masks must be worn at all indoor cinema screenings.

The final catch to reopening is that cinemas are only allowed to open with 50 percent capacity.

The 910-seater famous art deco cinema was slow to open during earlier periods of lockdown this year being at the mercy, as it is to an extent, of the big film distributors.

Whether Hollywood's long-awaited Wonder Woman 1984 movie based on the famous DC Comics superhero gets a release soon will be a sign of which way the wind is blowing for big chains like the Odeon.

The latest news from Wonder Woman 1984's distributor, the movie giant, Warner Bros, is they have decided to scrap the rule ensuring cinemas always get new movies first before any streaming options are explored in favour for the first time of a new joint release policy for all its new releases.

This will also affect other forthcoming Warners Bros blockbusters, including a new spectacular version of sci-fi classic Dune and the new Matrix 4 when they are eventually released, too.

Although this controversial and long-resisted move will potentially serve to undermine audience numbers and revenues for physical cinemas, the change of heart on digital streaming by Warner Bros suggests a lack of confidence that movie goers are going to be allowed to return in person in cinemas in 2021 in anything like normal numbers.

But the good news for movie fans is that Harrogate Odeon will be hosting a screening of a A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood starring Tom Hanks next Monday, December 7 courtesy of Harrogate Film Society, which has made its new home at the Odeon.

One big cinema chain which is back in action again is Vue York which opens its doors from December 11.

As regards Curzon cinema in Ripon, although others in this national arthouse chain will reopen from tomorrow, there is no sign of good news yet for Ripon film buffs or Curzon staff.

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