Are you ready to go back to the cinema?

Our film critic won't go to eat out, or shop in a supermarket. But then the chance came to go back to a moviehouse...


A couple of weeks ago, and for the first time since early March, I travelled back to London from Surrey for an advance press screening of  Christopher Nolan's Tenet at the BFI IMAX. This was by no means an easy decision for me to make, considering the fact that I had been shielding since before the start of  lockdown due to a number of health issues. Still, nobody was going to stop me from jumping on the chance to watch, and review, the latest film from one of my all time favourite filmmakers and if I had to wear a face-mask for just over two and half hours to do so, then so be it.

Tenet's release gives  cinema chains and small independent movie theatres the chance to recoup their losses. But will people go back to the big screen? 

What I experienced at that screening has genuinely put my mind at rest, and for the first time in months, I felt a tinge of hope for the future of the film industry post-Covid. With social distancing rules clearly marked throughout the lobby and plenty of space between each occupied seat in the screen itself, there was no doubt in my mind that a lot of thought had gone into organising the event.

Face masks and social distancing aside, it now transpires that some venues have opted to run at more than half of their capacities for each screening. In the case of the BFI Odeon IMAX, a venue which has just short of 500 seats, I’m told that 300 of those seats are being made available for each screening, which to me seems rather excessive. 

Despite all the restrictions and general nervousness around attending public gatherings, both Nolan and WB will be pleased with the numbers achieved by Tenet over the Bank Holiday weekend. The film led the way in the UK by scoring an amazing £5.3m from 3,116 screens only, eclipsing almost every other title at the box office. Globally, the film is well on the way to making back the rumoured £200 million it cost to make which will be very encouraging for NBC Universal who are still going ahead with the release of the new Bond film in early November.

Still, with Disney moving their live action version of Mulan exclusively to their streaming services at the premium price of £30 to rent, as well as delaying the release of the latest King’s Man movie until early next year, we might have to wait a few more months for the industry to fully recover from one of the most trying times of its history.

One thing we can all be sure of is that nothing will ever be the same again until there is a working vaccine. As for me, yes I’m still nervous about going out to have a meal at a restaurant or even go to the supermarket for my weekly shop, but one thing is for sure, it felt good to watch a film on the big screen again and quite frankly, I can't wait to do it again.
As to the film itself? Read my review here

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