When will cinemas reopen in the UK?

Vue, Showcase, Odeon, Cineworld and more are preparing to return post-lockdown

As the UK continues its step-by-step plan to exit COVID-19 lockdown, cinemas across the country are preparing to reopen their doors.

As per Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown, which was announced in February, outdoor cinemas and drive-in venues in England can open from April 12, with indoor cinemas able to welcome film fans back from May 17 when the next step of the plan is implemented. Scotland’s cinemas are also due to welcome punters back on May 17, but Wales and Northern Ireland haven’t confirmed a date so far.

A number of chains have said they will reopen on May 17, which is as soon as legally possible, and film schedules have started to be set out. Others are yet to reveal their plans.


Check out a full list of when every major cinema chain in the UK is expected to reopen below.

UK cinemas
CREDIT: Kseniia Zatevakhina / Alamy Stock Photo

When will Odeon cinemas reopen?

Odeon confirmed on May 4 that it will reopen the “vast majority” of its 120 UK sites on May 17 in line with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Britain’s largest cinema chain will operate new safety measures, with limited seating in order to guarantee unoccupied seats between different parties, and mask required for sitting inside its auditoriums when people are not eating or drinking.

When will Cineworld and Picturehouse cinemas reopen?

Both Cineworld and subsidiary chain Picturehouse have confirmed that they will reopen their venues when the next stage of lockdown is lifted on May 17.

On their website, Cineworld write: “We expect to resume operations in the UK in May, in line with current government guidance. At that time, we will be following government and health authority guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our colleagues and customers.”

When will Showcase cinemas reopen?


As with Odeon, Showcase Cinemas are set to reopen their doors on May 17 when indoor gatherings are allowed once again by law. As set out by Boris Johnson in the lockdown roadmap, the situation regarding cases and infection rates is being closely monitored, and the proposed dates for loosening lockdown are liable to change at any time.

The Vue Cinema in Preston, UK. CREDIT: Paul Melling / Alamy Stock Photo

When will Vue cinemas reopen?

Vue have confirmed that all 88 of their venues across the UK will be reopening from May 17.

When will Everyman cinemas reopen?

The Everyman chain have announced that they also aim to open their doors once again on May 17.

London’s Prince Charles Cinema prepares to reopen its doors. Credit: Joseph Okpako/Getty Images.

When will independent cinemas reopen?

Independent cinemas are allowed to reopen, as with every indoor venue, from May 17, though some may choose to open later.

London’s beloved Prince Charles Cinema is among those planning to screen films from May 17, as soon as they are allowed to do so.

In a statement on their website, they said: “We are working with local authorities and the Independent Cinema Association to make sure we present the safest possible environment for our customers and staff.”

When will outdoor cinemas reopen?

In line with government guidance, outdoor cinemas are allowed to reopen from April 12, along with pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops. Not every outdoor cinema has immediately opened following the news, so it’s worth checking the website of your favourite local venue.