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Cinephiles, rejoice! The famed Dukes cinema in Lancaster has set a date for its return after the coronavirus pandemic forced it to close its doors, so mark your calendars – August 4th is when their doors will reopen!
Of course, there will be changes implemented to ensure that the cinema is safe for everyone, including socially distanced queuing and seating, meaning that you won’t have the usual cinema awkwardness of shuffling down a full row of people to your seat. They will also be implementing hand sanitiser stations, and masks will be compulsory in accordance with the latest government guidelines. While the café will remain shut for the time being, customers will still be able to pre-order drinks and snacks when booking their tickets online (because we all know the cinema experience wouldn’t be complete without eating all your popcorn during the adverts).
The Dukes will be screening classic films such as Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, as well as recent Oscar winners Jojo Rabbit and Parasite, along with the critically acclaimed Portrait of a Lady on Fire. The Round theatre space will be used as a second cinema screen alongside the main cinema in order to assist with social distancing measures.
Even though closed, The Dukes was not idle and launched Digital Dukes, which featured a whole host of incredible events and resources for artists. This included the Inside Out exhibition, where they will be featuring art made by local artists in the front of house as they reopen, along with a whole host of digital masterclasses on topics such as painting, cooking, dancing, and marketing, all available on the Dukes very own YouTube page!
Director of The Dukes, Karen O’Neill, states that “We are delighted to reopen The Dukes for our audiences across the Lancaster district. The last few months have presented significant challenges for The Dukes, but we are pleased to begin exploring the future with our communities and artists… We have missed being part of the cultural life of Lancaster and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has and continues to support us.”
The Chair of The Dukes board, Alan Hatton-Yeo, also stated, “For nearly 50 years The Dukes has been at the heart of our community, celebrating the ways that the arts bring us together… the support we have received from the community during this time has been wonderful, and I, on behalf of the board, would like to thank everyone for this.”
Tickets are available to book now through The Dukes website, or through the Box Office on 01524 598 500 from the 30th of July. Follow this link to view more of their guidelines and FAQs about their reopening, and get ready to enjoy The Dukes again!