Leicester’s Phoenix cinema and art centre is looking forward to reopening its doors on Tuesday 6 October, after over six months closure due to Coronavirus.
With new social distancing and extensive safety measures in place, the city centre cinema and its Café Bar will initially open seven days a week from 12pm – 10pm daily.
Film fans will be able to enjoy some recent movie releases and others they may have been unable to watch during lockdown, including Christopher Nolan’s new film Tenet on 35mm, Gemma Arterton in Summerland, US death row drama Clemency, new French thriller Les Misérables, and atmospheric British horror Saint Maud arriving on a wave of critical praise. Phoenix is encouraging customers to buy tickets in advance at phoenix.org.uk.
Phoenix staff have been working hard to ensure the reopened charity’s venue is safe and welcoming for all. Measures include allocated seating and reduced capacity in both cinema screens; table service, reduced capacity and a simplified menu in the Café Bar; adjustments to the ventilation system to increase fresh air levels; and increased cleaning and hand sanitising stations throughout the venue.
“Cultural venues like ours have been hit especially hard by lockdown, but we’ve been heartened by the many hundreds of individual donations we have received from our customers, and public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and our partners at the BFI,” said John Rance, CEO of Phoenix.
Whilst our doors have been closed we have developed ‘Phoenix at Home’, a weekly service which has provided film and art recommendations and content for our customers to enjoy at home. We know that many are now ready to return to the cinema where they can immerse themselves in great films without the distractions and interruptions of home!”
The Phoenix art programme will continue online, with a range of artworks and creative learning activities available to experience online. The galley will reopen in November with The Idle Index, an exhibition featuring newly commissioned pieces by eight Leicester artists. Over the next few months there are also plans to take the art programme onto the streets with spectacular events in the city centre.
Phoenix 2020 funding
Whilst closed, Phoenix has continued to pursue funding for its Phoenix 2020 expansion plan which has been delayed by lockdown. The team is delighted to report that in July 2020 the project was awarded a further £400,000 grant funding as one of a number of economic priorities supported by the business rates pool which is controlled by the local authorities in the city and county.
“We are currently working with our architects and construction partners to develop the final plans and costings for Phoenix 2020, whilst continuing our fundraising efforts. Despite the current uncertainty, we are committed to making it happen and have the continued support of our stakeholders and funders. We expect to have a further update later in the year,” said John Rance, CEO of Phoenix.