Sydney's Cinemas Will Start Reopening from July 1
Expect a lineup of new releases, old classics and movies that were screening when cinemas closed.
When Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced New South Wales' latest stage of eased COVID-19 restrictions, she gave cinephiles a particularly exciting piece of news. Movie theatres have been closed around the country since mid-March; however, with current caps on indoor venues lifting on Wednesday, July 1, it appears that projectors will be allowed to start whirring again in the state. And, while that doesn't mean that it's popcorn-munching business as usual quite yet, local cinemas will gradually begin to reopen.
Randwick Ritz will be one of the initial places to start ushering movie buffs back into darkened rooms, opening its doors on the very first day it can. It'll relaunch with The Invisible Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, Portrait of a Lady on Fire and The Current War, all of which were already screening in March when cinemas shut. And, it'll be showing new films as well, such as The Assistant and Bait. Plus, if you haven't already caught the Hugo Weaving-starring Hearts and Bones at home — or watched Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan eat and banter their way through The Trip to Greece — you can now do so in a theatre.
Come Thursday, July 2, Palace's New South Wales sites will also let punters back in — playing a lineup of brand new movies that haven't screened in Aussie cinemas or hit VOD as yet. On that date, film fans will be able to check out The Booksellers, while Waves and A White, White Day will follow suit the week after. Also on the bill: Mulan and The Burnt Orange Heresy from July 23.
On July 9, the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace will kick back into gear, too, continuing to balance fresh flicks and retro hits. That includes the likes of new releases Shirley and Love Sarah, as well as old-school titles such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Labyrinth, The Big Lebowski, Grease, Jaws and The Room.
If you're wondering about other cinemas, much of the big end of town — including multiplexes — has been focused on Christopher Nolan's Tenet as the film to herald audiences back into theatres. In fact, that's the plan that the local industry has been working towards. This past weekend, however, the movie's worldwide date was pushed back to the end of July (from Thursday, July 16 to Thursday, July 30 in Australia). So, it's safe to expect that plenty of other New South Wales picture palaces will relaunch on or around then.
At the time of writing, chains such as Event, Hoyts and Reading hadn't revealed their reopening dates, nor had Dendy Newtown, Golden Age Cinema and Bar (other than for private hires, which it's hosting now) or Roseville Cinemas — but, again, expect that to change as late-July creeps up.
And, like attending any business reopening in the time of COVID-19, patrons can also expect significant changes to the movie-going experience — including online bookings, allocated seating, gaps between patrons, contactless payment, social-distancing requirements and extra cleaning.
Top image: Randwick Ritz by Kimberley Low
Published on June 16, 2020 by Sarah Ward