GFT Re-Opening Statement

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Glasgow Film Theatre will re-open on 31 August

The Scottish Government recently announced that cinemas in Scotland may re-open from 15 July. We at GFT have decided to open on 31 August to ensure we have the best plan in place to open safely, and with great new films in our cinema. 

Join us on Friday 21 August at 4pm for a Facebook Live Q&A with GFT CEO Allison Gardner and Programme Manager Paul Gallagher. This is your chance to ask Allison and Paul all of your questions about what the cinema-going experience will be like when GFT reopens on Monday 31 August. They will also be revealing the films we've got lined up for our reopening programme - we can't wait to share them with you.

Why 31 August?  

The safety and comfort of our staff, volunteers and audience are of paramount importance in all of our considerations. We have taken the decision that we want to re-open as safely as possible, and the planning and implementation of our safety plan to achieve this takes time and training. We are working with our staff to devise a safe operating plan in accordance with the guidance provided by the UK Cinema Association.  Our safe operating plan measures will be shared with audiences to reassure them of the actions we are taking. 

We will be taking our time to make sure we have everything in place for everyone to have the best possible cinema experience. Going to the cinema will obviously be a little different, but the magic of watching a movie on the big screen is one thing that will never change.  

The summer months for GFT are traditionally one of our quietest periods and so we’re coordinating with other independent cinemas and distributors across the UK to have a joined-up approach to re-opening in late August around exciting new releases. 

How will GFT look when we re-open? 

Social distancing guidelines will mean that GFT will re-open with reduced capacity in all of its screens, using only approximately 20% of normal capacity. This means that the significant majority of seats will be kept vacant to allow adequate spacing of customers. Initially there will be fewer screenings per day, to avoid bottlenecks and to ensure we have the time for enhanced cleaning to be done between shows.  

What will we be doing in the meantime?  

During our temporary closure, we have treasured the ability to connect with you digitally via our social media platforms and online content. Far from winding down, our digital activity will be ramping up over the next few weeks. Our weekly Friday Twitter chats will continue, we’ll still be working with our partners on digital film releases, and we’ll be announcing a new live video series very soon. 

Glasgow Film Festival will be returning this summer with drive-in cinema screenings in partnership with Electric Frog, and the wheels are turning on some seriously exciting plans for 2021. 

And our Film Hub Scotland team are working extremely hard to provide resources and support to our film sector colleagues across the country at this challenging time. We have never been prouder to be part of a vibrant and resilient independent Scottish film sector, one that has risen to unimaginable challenges with innovative solutions at every turn. 

How has the closure period affected GFT? 

Having to close the cinema has had a huge financial impact. For the past months we have had no income from ticket sales, venue hires or our bar, which collectively amounts to 60% of our yearly income. Safeguarding jobs has been a priority and we have paid our permanent staff 100% of their wages during the closure period. 

While re-opening is a big step in the right direction, we are aware that there is a long road ahead until the cinema is able to operate at full capacity. As a not-for-profit educational charity, all of our income is reinvested into our programming and access initiatives to create Cinema For All. This will be perhaps the biggest challenge we have faced as an organisation, but it is one we intend to tackle with passion and determination, and we know you will continue to support us. 

How can you help? 

We need your help to secure our future over this next crucial period. We are asking everyone who loves GFT to donate £20, or whatever you can afford, to help us to continue to provide Cinema For All. We realise that this is a difficult time for many people, and we are grateful for all donations, however big or small. The outpouring of support we have received from our audiences over the past few months has meant the world to us and reminded us how much GFT means to the people of Glasgow. Thank you.

You can donate quickly and easily online.

You can also donate online at our Virgin Money Giving page. 

Or support us by buying  GFT Gift Vouchers  or becoming a member through the purchase of a  CineCard, for you or as a gift. CineCard benefits include access to exclusive previews, free cinema tickets, a discount on standard tickets, loyalty points and much more!  

If you would like to purchase Gift Vouchers or a CineCard as a gift, head here. 

And don’t forget to sign up to receive our enewletters with information on special offers, discounts and information on screenings. 

We look forward to seeing you from Monday 31 August.

Allison Gardner, Glasgow Film CEO 

As per Scottish Government restrictions, seats available for all shows from 27 December to 23 January will be capped to meet the 1m social distancing requirement.

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