Although Ireland has locked down its schools, colleges, cultural institutions and the like, small businesses around the country are still open for business - and the same goes for cinemas, too.
Across Ireland, many cinemas have remained open and are introducing arrangements to tackle the spread of COVID-19. Cinema chains like Odeon, IMC, Ominiplex and smaller cinemas like Stella Rathmines, Pálás Galway and Lighthouse Cinema have all introduced measures to keep people safe during the coronavirus outbreak.
So far, only two cinemas - the Irish Film Institute in Dublin and the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork - have been ordered to close, owing to the fact that it is classed as a cultural institution under the guidelines of the government.
The IFI is now closed until Sunday, March 29th. Please see here for more information: https://t.co/wbXPfBkSzH
— Irish Film Institute (@IFI_Dub) March 13, 2020
Due to measures announced earlier by the Government of Ireland, Triskel Arts Centre will close from 6pm until Mon 30 March at 9am. All shows during this period are cancelled & tickets will be refunded. We will contact those affected & will process refunds on our return. Stay safe pic.twitter.com/bsC7RLU1MD
— Triskel Arts Centre (@TriskelCork) March 12, 2020
All other cinemas are adhering to the 100-person rule for indoor gatherings, and are keeping to WHO guidelines for social distancing by keeping people one seat apart on either side. This, of course, means that the capacity for cinema screens has been significantly reduced. On top of that, cinema times have changed around the country for this.
We want you to feel comfortable in our cinemas, so in line with government guidelines, we are limiting the seats for sale, so you are able to sit where you like with more space between you and our other guests.
— ODEON Ireland (@ODEONcinemasIRE) March 13, 2020
How does In Cinema Seat Separation Work? Maintain a recommended 1m distance- you can still sit next to your friends & family, which will leave a bigger gap between you & our next guest. Don't forget to also use hand santisers, cough/sneeze into a tissue & bin your rubbish. pic.twitter.com/nPrT1dk5lF
— Omniplex Cinemas (@omniplexcinema) March 11, 2020
Not only that, but cinemas are also encouraging patrons to book and pay ahead online rather than bringing cash. As always, wash your hands thoroughly before eating food or drink to prevent the spread. Not only that, cinema staff are also trained in cleaning procedures and have stepped up regimes to ensure cinemas are safe and sterile.
— Light House Cinema (@LightHouseD7) March 12, 2020
— Movies @ Dundrum (@MoviesDundrum) March 13, 2020
Cinemas still are showing movies, however release dates for many movies have been pushed back until later in the year. That said, you can still see movies like 'The Hunt' (very good), 'Calm With Horses' (pretty good) and 'Bloodshot' (awful) in cinemas.
It's business as usual at Stella #Rathmines! All of our seating reach the #WHO distance requirements of 1m so you can rest easy (and comfy) while watching your movie!
In #Ranelagh, we've introduced spaced seating measures to confirm to the social distancing guidelines. pic.twitter.com/YgtImu9Q4r
— Stella Cinema (@StellaCinemas) March 13, 2020
As ever, if you feeling like you're presenting with symptoms from COVID-19, you should self-isolate, wash your hands thoroughly, follow HSE and professional medical advice, and avoid social interactions with other people until you've been tested and cleared of the virus.