Events & Theatre Manager, David Marsh
The Regal closed on 23rd February for the construction phase of our exciting expansion project and we were due to launch Regal on the Road at the John Peel Centre on 2nd April with the new James Bond film, No Time to Die. And then COVID-19 happened.
Following months of closure, UK cinemas were given the go-ahead to reopen on 4th July, but we wanted to take our time to get the right control measures in place, to give people the of Stowmarket the confidence to return and enjoy the magic of cinema.
So it is with huge pride that I can announce that Regal on the Road at the John Peel Centre will launch on Thursday 30th July. We start with two screenings per day and all tickets at Pocket Money Movies price, that’s just £2.50 per child, with accompanying adults going free. Additional adults or adults without children pay £2.50 each. This offer runs every day until 18th August.
Although the guidelines say one meter plus, we felt a bit more space between parties would be preferable, so we will only use every other aisle, with at least two seats between groups. This means that a ‘full house’ would see less than 40% of the seats taken. Based on this drastic reduction in seating capacity, we would wholeheartedly recommend that customers book in advance where possible.
Sanitising stations will be available in the foyer, toilets and auditorium and screens have been placed in front of the box office station to protect staff and patrons. To ease possible congestion, the venue will now open 30 minutes before the advertised screening time. This should provide more than enough time for customers to arrive and get comfortable before the start of the main feature. Please observe the social distancing advice while queuing, which will be identified by markings on the pavement outside the venue and floor stickers inside. Be warned; screen advertising will initially be much shorter in length than usual, so the main film will likely start earlier too. Depending on where your seats are, we may not be able to admit you once the auditorium lights have gone out.
Wherever possible, customers are requested to book online or pay by card, preferably using contactless payment wherever possible. Cash will be accepted where payment by card is not possible, with staff sanitising their hands before serving the next customer. Golden Ticket holders will be given four additional months to use them; they can be used to book online but not for Pocket Money Movies screenings.
If you have booked online, you don’t need to queue in the foyer; please proceed to the auditorium with your booking reference (and Golden Ticket if it is being redeemed). If you don’t have your booking reference, you will need to queue. If you haven’t booked online, you will need to provide your name and telephone number for Track & Trace. We are unable to take telephone bookings for the time being.
We have stepped up our cleaning programme; every seat, door and handrail will be sanitised before each screening, with the toilets being cleaned and sanitised at least every hour. Our duty managers have completed the COVID-19 Safe: Infection Prevention & PPE course, with all staff receiving extra training.
During July and August we will not be selling any food or drinks. Customers may bring their own, but we ask that the packaging be taken home at the end of the film. Hot food or alcohol will not be permitted.
We appreciate that to children, a visit to the cinema can be an exciting experience and we want them to enjoy their trip to the movies. However, we politely insist that children remain in their allocated seating at all times and are not allowed to wander around the auditorium, other than when they require the toilet, which should be supervised accordingly.
We recognise that most of the above is basic common sense and we’re sure that, by now, our fine customers have their hygiene procedures in place to assist us in maintaining the venue as a safe and enjoyable place to be. Please take the advice of venue staff at all times and please do bring any suggestion or concern you may have to our attention.
Many of you will know that the John Peel Centre is a former Corn Exchange and ran as the Movieland Cinema and Bankside Movie Theatre from 1986 until 1991, so we’re especially pleased to bring movies back to the iconic site. The team at the centre have been very welcoming in allowing us to set up our temporary home with them and we are delighted to be working in partnership together.
Watch this space for some exciting news on the Regal construction project.
Thank you for your patience and continued support, I look forward to seeing you at one of our film screenings at Regal on the Road.