With cinemas across the UK finally reopening post-Covid, support for independent organisations has never been needed more. Head to one of Gloucestershire’s top 12 indie film venues for a unique cinema experience in front of the big screen.
Whether it’s witnessing the latest Hollywood cinematic sensation, sitting down to a live theatre stream or enjoying a family flick, Gloucestershire movie buffs can take their pick of independent film venues in the county…
Gloucester Guildhall's cinema was fully refurbished during lockdown and re-opened in October 2020, hosting regular film screenings in its 100-seat cinema.
With full social distancing measures in place, film fans at Gloucester Guildhall can take advantage of the venue’s competitive ticket prices, Gloucester city centre location and nearby car parking – as well as an eclectic programme, which includes modern blockbusters, indie flicks, golden oldies and more on the big screen.
Postponed events have now been rescheduled and screen capacity will be capped at 27 people per showing, to adhere to government guidance.
Tewkesbury’s leading arts centre, the Roses Theatre, screens a diverse range of films, spanning the latest Hollywood movies, foreign language films, world cinema, independent productions and morem, which can all be enjoyed in its comfortable 370-seat auditorium which is operating at reduced capacity to allow for social distancing.
The varied schedule also includes dedicated film programmes including Elevenses, which offers a relaxed cinema experience and Nappy Mondays, which are exclusively for parents or guardians with a baby under 18 months, as well as relaxed screenings for those with disabilities.
Sherborne Cinema received a British Film Institute grant to help make the cinema fully Covid-compliant. And, as well as offering unrivalled value for money, the independent Gloucester cinema provides a boutique experience, screening recent releases and family-friendly films too – with no adverts to delay the on-screen action!
With tickets priced between £4 and £6, as well as hot drinks, popcorn, ice-cream, sweets also available at equally tempting prices, Sherborne Cinema’s filmgoers can stock up on goodies before sitting down to the film, without any delays. Just bear in mind that seating is still limited at the moment, due to Covid restrictions.
As part of its varied events programme, Bacon Theatre in Cheltenham hosts regular film nights and live screenings within a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, with films ranging from classics to new releases.
Finally reopening after the Coronavirus pandemic, the Bacon Theatre has announced an Open-Air Theatre Festival taking place from Tuesday 3 August until Sunday 15 August 2021, outside in the gorgeous Tuckwell Amphitheatre. Visitors can expect to see a host of classic drama, sublime jazz and family-friendly entertainment under the summer stars.
Home to two screens, The Palace Theatre cinema in Cinderford is a family-friendly cinema with a rich heritage, providing great value tickets, along with a range of confectionary and drinks.
Not only do Forest of Dean filmgoers have a choice of genres, spanning theatre, Hollywood flicks and children’s screenings, but they can also look forward to the venue’s comfortable seating, which offers a number of double-seat sofas for a luxurious viewing experience.
To ensure that visitors are safe and comfortable during their trip to the Palace, tickets must be booked in advance. The cinema is also operating at a very reduced capacity in order to comply with social distancing requirements.
Those looking for the ultimate indulgence can enjoy a luxurious viewing experience at Barnsley House Hotel near Cirencester, which boasts its very own cinema, complete with plush leather armchairs for total comfort.
While cinema use is complimentary for hotel guests, non-residents can visit the stylish screening room during the hotel’s special events, which include a Sunday Cinema Night and a Midweek Movie Night, both offering film entertainment along with a meal.
Guest capacity is reduced for the time being, in order to adhere to government guidelines.
A 100-seat cinema which is one of the oldest in the country, Wotton Electric Picture House screens a wide range of titles within a relaxed environment, with loyalty cards available for dedicated film lovers.
The diverse programme caters to all tastes, ranging from recent blockbusters and foreign films to live theatre screenings, classic movies, and even on-screen exhibitions.
The number of seats available has reduced considerably during the pandemic, so it is advised to book tickets in advance.
Part of a boutique chain with 14 venues across the UK, Studio Cinema Coleford is home to two screens which show Hollywood’s latest releases, along with providing a special event cinema programme of live stage screenings.
Along with its impressive film listings, the Forest of Dean cinema offers good value ticket prices, for adults and children. To make sure that guests are kept safe during their visit, the auditorium will only be sold up to 50 per cent capacity, so that social distancing measures can be adhered to.
Cheltenham’s local theatre, The Playhouse, launched a regular film screening in 2016 after receiving funds from an anonymous benefactor – with an impressive programme focusing on classics and cult films.
With access to The Playhouse’s bar before the screening and no trailers or adverts, the theatre offers a charming environment and the chance to catch unique screenings.
Now that The Playhouse has reopened doors to guests, social distancing measures and capacity limits have been implemented in line with government guidelines.
As well as staging live theatre performances, Gloucestershire’s newest independent cinema The Barn Theatre in Cirencester, also began showing films on its big cinema screen in October 2020.
Bringing independent cinema to the Cotswolds, film fans can expect to watch an eclectic variety of films, spanning blockbuster and family flicks.
The Barn will be incorporating transparent screens separating different parties in the auditorium, as well as regularly sanitising chairs between performances so that guests can remain comfortable and safe during their visit.
Originally due to open in April 2020, Cheltenham’s Tivoli Cinema is set to be a plush venue for film fans, currently being built in Regent Arcade, on the sight of the former BHS store.
With the opening still delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic and no official launch date confirmed, if the Bath sister venue is anything to go by, Cheltenham’s new boutique cinema is set to be one of the most plush cinemas in the south west.
Situated just beyond the county border in Evesham, The Regal Cinema is well worth the journey for a luxury cinema experience within majestic surroundings. Featuring an on-site café and bar, The Regal Cinema hosts everything from concert and theatre screenings to recent releases.
The Regal Cinema invites visitors to take their pick of deluxe love seats, candle-lit tables, and royal box seats, so guests can sit back and indulge in some escapist entertainment.
To keep visitors safe and comfortable during their time at The Regal, film times are staggered and social distancing measures are in place, with hand sanitising stations at various points throughout the cinema.
By Zoe Gater