Butter the popcorn, and break out the choc-tops, Geelong residents can finally get their big-screen fix as Village Cinemas are back in action.
Opening yesterday (Monday, June 22) following months of restrictions, the cinema is now running staggered session times and operating at a reduced capacity in line with social distancing requirements aimed at protecting staff and patrons. Originally slated to allow up 50 guests, Premier Daniel Andrews on Saturday announced cinemas will still be able to open but will be limited to just 20 guests per space for the time being, following the recent spike in coronavirus cases in Victoria.
The one person per four square metre rule will be enforced and people who do not live in the same household will need to remain at least 1.5 metres apart – so you can sit with your family, but you won’t be next to other bookings. There will also be 1.5-metre markers on the ground in foyers and toilets to encourage physical distancing, and only every second row in the auditorium will be used.
The cinemas itself will also be cleaned more thoroughly between shows, with increased time between screenings to allow for this. Tickets and candy bar items must be bought either online or via card, as Village won’t be accepting cash. As is also the case in restaurants and bars, all patrons must provide names and phone numbers to allow for contact tracing.
So, what can we actually watch?
With screenings running from 1pm at the earliest and 7:40pm at the latest, guests will enjoy a number of relatively new films as well as a few absolute classics.
From the British War drama 1917 and action comedy Bad Boys for Life, to family comedy Sonic The Hedgehog and action superhero film Birds of Prey, you’ll be able to enjoy the films released earlier this year that you may have missed on the big screen. Other new-ish flicks include Bloodshot, Ford v. Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Jumanji: The Next Level, Knives Out, The Favourite and The Invisible Man.
If you’re more a fan of the classic, Village Cinemas will be screening James Cameron’s 1997 romantic drama Titanic, 1997 romantic comedy My Best Friend’s Wedding (featuring Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, and Cameron Diaz), and the 1968 American science fiction flick Planet of the Apes. You’ll also find sessions for Fight Club, Heat and Moulin Rouge, as well as Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast and family adventure animation The Incredibles.
If you were banking on seeing something brand new, all hope is not lost just yet. Many of this year’s blockbusters – including the latest Fast and Furious movie, Scarlett Johansson’s stand-alone Black Widow film, and Daniel Craig’s swan song as James Bond, No Time To Die – have just been postponed until later this year.
With staggered opening dates of its complexes, Village Cinemas in Bendigo, Werribee, Warrnambool and Shepparton are set to open on June 25.
To book your tickets, visit the cinema website.