Cinema opening will be just the ticket

Oban's Phoenix Cinema is getting ready to screen soon.

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Oban’s Phoenix Cinema could be welcoming back film fans later this month.

After weeks of blank screens, cinemas around Scotland are preparing to open again soon and the Phoenix hopes to be one of them.

Strict social distancing rules to keep both customers and workers safe from Covid will be enforced when the community-owned cinema in George Street opens its box-office.

Bosses at Oban Phoenix have been working out their own risk assessment rules to tie in with government guidelines and a tentative date for reopening is towards the end of this month, says the cinema’s  vice-chairman Alan Chapman.

Initially the cinema closed for two weeks to be kept under review but the closure continued on guidance.

When it finally does reopen, safety measures could include being met by a number of hand sanitising stations, staff wearing PPE and staggered start and end times of films to keep the foyer unclogged.

A number of big blockbuster films have been delayed during the pandemic, including the new James Bond film, No Time to Die, now moved to November 12 for release, and Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan. Check out to see what other films are coming up.

Until Covid hit, Screen One could seat 148 people with Screen Two seating just 22. During lockdown, all staff have been furloughed.

Posters have gone up outside the cinema to brighten up the locked-up building in lockdown. Inside, the charity-registered cinema had been having a make-over in the main foyer area with a new snacks, sweets and drinks counter. The office and box office space near the front entrance was next on the to do list with help from funders.

Just recently the Phoenix Cinema received £22,436 from the  National Lottery through Screen Scotland’s Cinema Equipment Fund so it can deliver a high-quality and diverse programme of films to its community.