Britain’s beleaguered picture palaces desperately need bums back on seats. But some filmgoers have to consider the risks more than others
Lockdown in the UK cost its cinemas an estimated £111m in lost revenue, and their annual income could be down 60% on last year’s. Abandoned filming means there are few enticing titles in the pipeline, and production safety guidelines are hampering new production. If cinemas are to survive while socialdistancing slashes their capacity, they’ll have to fill as many as they can of their remaining available seats.
Filmgoers will need to show up in force, whatever their age, gender or physical condition. I’m an ardent film fan; unfortunately, I’m also male and medically vulnerable, which makes me low-hanging fruit for Covid’s scythe. An over-75-year-old is 623 times more likely to die from the disease than an under-45-year-old. Men are over twice as much at risk as women, and a dodgy cardiovascular system doesn’t improve your chances.