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Popular Bury St Edmunds cinema opens its doors for first time in over three months



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A popular independent cinema in Bury St Edmunds is back open after three months of no business due to coronavirus.

Abbeygate Cinema on Hatter Street invited customers in today for its first screening since March 20 this year, when it was forced to shut down based on UK Government and Public Health England advice.

People were queued up outside from around 11.15am to be greeted by members of staff ready to guide them through the new one-way system.

There's a one-way system in place to ensure everything runs smoothly.
There's a one-way system in place to ensure everything runs smoothly.

There are hand sanitation stations in place, stickers on the floor, and perspex barriers by tills and on bars.

For some residents, it was their first proper trip out since lockdown began.

Phil and Hilda Halliwell came in from Newmarket, and Phil said: "We were due for a day out, and we thought it would be safe. We booked online so we could see the seating arrangement."

People were queuing up from 11.15 this morning. (38225127)
People were queuing up from 11.15 this morning. (38225127)

Sandra Howell and grand-daughter Harriet, from Bury St Edmunds, said: "It's nice to come out to see the cinema for the first time in about four or five months."

Sandra, who is a member at the cinema, said she had been going out for walks, but this is the first time she's come out to anything like this recently.

"It's so handy for us that we can just walk up, go to the cinema, and go back home again, and they do have some good films," she said.

The team at the cinema worked 'flat out' during lockdown to ensure everything was ready for re-opening, with the No.4 Restaurant and Bar opening last Saturday.

Social distancing measures have been put in place inside the screening rooms.
Social distancing measures have been put in place inside the screening rooms.

"We've put an awful lot of measures in to make this safe for everybody," said Andrea Holmes, marketing manager.

She added saying how much they appreciate everyone coming out to support the cinema.

There are still works going on with a new 150-seat screen room set to be finished at the end of July.

"It's sad we're opening with restrictions in place but the new screen will give us a space to be versatile," Andrea said.