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Film Programme Manager Jenny Leask writes about the return of cinema to Shetland.

We're absolutely delighted to be able to welcome cinema customers back to Mareel from 28 August. Having worked in film for 25 years, I for one am hugely looking forward to that big screen experience, it's been such a miss!

You'll notice a few changes to our programme, the biggest one being that we're only, for the moment, running films in Cinema 1. Current distancing measures (as I write, still 2m in cinemas) mean that it just isn't practical to use Cinema 2. We're programming two weeks at a time for the moment, instead of a month, so we can react quickly if and when those rules change.

This means, of course, that we aren't able to show as many different films as we could with two screens. You'll notice that some of our regular slots, like Screen Horizons, aren't there, and we will be bringing these back as soon as is possible. We have also decided not to show big films like Tenet on release as, due to the distribution deal, it would be the only film we could show for two weeks, and we want to cater for as many of you as possible. No new titles have been released in the summer, with all the cinemas closed, but there were plenty of films we were scheduled to show before lockdown so we're now able to catch up with those. I've tried to include a wide variety of films in our programme, so hopefully there'll be something for everyone!

When you book your tickets, please be aware the box office system is set up to automatically block off seats around each booking, keeping the appropriate distance between customers. If you're booking for a group, please make sure all the people in that group are in the same bubble, and if you want to see a film with someone from your bubble, you'll need to book your tickets at the same time if you want to sit together. Face coverings must be worn in the cinema unless you're eating or drinking, and we're requesting that customers take their own rubbish with them at the end of the film, and put it in the bins provided. Cinemas will be thoroughly cleaned between each screening, and there is hand sanitiser available throughout the building.

All bookings are currently online until the building reopens.

We'll keep you posted on any new developments, and please rest assured we're all working hard to make your visit a safe and enjoyable one.

See you at the cinema!

Jenny

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