The St James Theatre is raising the curtain again after the Covid-19-induced intermission.
Theatre manager Paul McPhail said the seven-week shutdown was unprecedented in the theatre’s history.
“We’ve never been closed in 80-odd years,” Mr McPhail said.
Even when work was being done on the building in the early 2000s one cinema was kept open.
“We’re really excited to be opening again.”
The opening would be “limited” with a lighter schedule to begin with.
“Normally we’re all day, every day.”
The theatre had taken precautions to operate in Alert Level 2.
“All the seats in the foyer are gone,” he said.
This was to discourage people gathering in groups. The tables had also been moved.
“People come in, sanitise and sign in.”
A screen was in place between movie-goers and counter staff.
People would not be able to sit wherever they liked.
“There will be an usher showing you to your seat.
“It’s almost old-fashioned.”
Also old-fashioned were some films he was considering screening.
“We might play some classic movies; films from the ’50s.
“There are limited releases for next month.
“Cinemas in the US are shut.”
This was affecting the usual supply of Hollywood films.
The theatre would screen films that had been new before lockdown.
They were also screening National Theatre Live play Fleabag
This was a recording of a show in London’s West End starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
American documentary Biggest Little Farmwould also run. It screened at the New Zealand International Film Festival 2019.
There would be plenty of good things to see before the supply of films from Hollywood opened up again, Mr McPhail said.
“We’re looking forward to seeing our patrons back again.”