A date has been revealed for the reopening of Gloucester’s much-loved independent Sherborne Cinema, closed like so many more due to the pandemic.
Mark Cunningham, who owns and runs the popular Sherborne Street venue, said he hoped it would emerge from lockdown on 17 May 2021, in line with the government’s roadmap for reopening.
Expect the Kingsholm cinema to be sporting a track and trace system, with customers required to wear masks and keep socially distanced – unless they are in family bubbles.
‘Fingers crossed, but we’re planning to open this month. We’ve got social distancing, PPE and a new ventilation system with fogging for your added protection,’ Mark Cunningham said. ‘We’re all looking forward to welcoming you back.’
If all goes to plan, opening night will be Monday 17 May 2021, with Cinema Paradiso shown at 7.30pm daily for four days.
On Friday 21 May 2021, for six days (not including Sunday) at 7.30pm, the main attraction changes to Stray, with other films planned including Raya and The Last Dragon, Six Minutes to Midnight, the Oscar-winning Nomadland and Minari.
In October last year the bigger picture for the cinema was very different as it battled to survive and stay open as the pandemic raged.
Its importance was recognised by the BFI (British Film Institute), which gave it £8,940 of Government money to assist its cause.
With that boost Mr Cunningham vowed to try to stay open, despite a reduced capacity at the 141-seater hall, for safety reasons, pointing to a potential £60,000 loss – if he could limp through to March this year.
In December it looked like that hole would be partially filled when it emerged it was due a further £45,625 from the Culture Recovery Fund, aimed at keeping the business afloat no matter and retaining its five staff and two assistant managers.
By Andrew Merrell