Omniplex Cinemas has confirmed it is all set to reopen to the public on Monday 24th May, pending official confirmation from the NI Executive on Thursday 20th May 2021. The cinema chain plans to begin its phased reopening of five sites welcoming customers back to a covid safe way from this date. Eight more Omniplex locations across the country are ready to resume screening from Friday 28th May marking the first time this year for avid movie goers to enjoy the big screen experience.

The cinema chain – the largest in Northern Ireland, closed all of its venues on December 24, 2020, when all areas of the UK and Ireland were under pandemic restrictions.

Speaking on the reopening announcement, Paul John Anderson, Director of Omniplex Cinemas said: “We are thrilled to finally be welcoming back cinema goers for the first time this year. We strongly believe in the power of escapism that a couple of hours spent at the cinema provides and we are looking forward to opening our doors for the ultimate big screen experience. We have worked hard over the last year to ensure our customers can enjoy the magic of cinema once again. We continue to follow public health advice and the safety of our team and customers remains of utmost importance.”

Safety measures will include limited capacity; 2m distance between parties for social distancing requirements; face coverings to be worn by staff and audiences when moving within cinema buildings; and staggered showtimes to name a few. Omniplex Cinemas will also be operating enhanced online booking to make the visit as contactless as possible with increased cleaning regimes and hand sanitising stations in every foyer. Visitors will be expected to wear face masks but will be allowed to remove them when seated in auditoriums for eating or drinking.

Paul added: “It’s been a long and difficult year for us all with restrictions affecting our daily lives. We know that our audiences are eager to get back to the big screen and we cannot wait to see people experiencing the cinema once again.”

Several film studios had paused the release of their ‘tentpole’ blockbusters in 2020, opting for release dates in the latter half of 2021. From 24th May, film fans can enjoy films including Peter Rabbit 2, voiced by stars including James Corden and Margot Robbie and much-anticipated horror film The Conjuring 3.

A raft of blockbuster films is set to be released in Summer 2021 with Marvel releasing the much-delayed Black Widow on 9th July. DC Comics will play to a similar field of movie goers with the release of The Suicide Squad on 6th August. The ninth instalment of Fast and Furious will come to cinema screens across NI on 9th July this year. The 25th James Bond will also grace the movie screens with No Time to Die featuring Daniel Craig as 007 expected to come out on 30th September in the UK and Ireland. Omniplex Cinemas is due to reopen its locations in Lisburn, Dundonald, Newry, Craigavon and Bangor from Monday 24th May. Tickets are on sale now in advance of these reopening dates at The remaining sites in Derry, Belfast, Antrim, Carrickfergus, Omagh, Downpatrick, Banbridge and Dungannon will open again from Friday 28th May.

Omniplex is the largest cinema chain in Ireland, with over 250 screens in 33 locations.