THE Regal Cinema in Fordingbridge has announced its plans for a phased reopening with public screenings due to start in November.

The cinema in Shaftesbury Street closed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic but from September it will reopen for private hires and then for public screenings from November 2, which will be held three times a week.

Barry Robbins, of the Regal Cinema, said: “We are very excited about it [reopening]. We have had a lot of fun with the online film club that has been running for the last 19 or 20 weeks but it doesn’t really compare with being in the place.

“A lot of our volunteers are keen to get back. We keep being stopped in the street by our regular cinema-goers saying ‘when’s it opening?’. But we can’t rush these things we’ve got to take it carefully and we are treating it very seriously.”

Barry says there has been “lots of work behind the scenes” to make the venue “Covid safe”. A number of measures are being put in place including volunteers and staff wearing PPE, socially distanced queuing and a revised entry and exit process, a track and trace system where each household will be asked to provide contact details, temperature checks, socially distanced seating, increased cleaning as well as hand sanitiser stations. The wearing of face coverings will also be required, unless people are eating or drinking during the screening.

Barry said: “There are some subtle changes but we hope it won’t spoil people’s enjoyment.”

The cinema will be screening the rescheduled films as well as some new films as well. For now it will be pausing some of its subsidised monthly screenings including the Saturday afternoon family film screening and the silver screens for the over 55s.

“We will begin working through the rescheduled films as quickly as possible but, rest assured, you will still be able to come along and see new films too,” adds Barry.

The team at the Regal are already working on a programme of new films as well as planning for Christmas.

“We are working on a programme of new films and planning for Christmas already, which is quite exciting,” added Barry.

The cinema is open to members and non-members. For more information go