NOW IT’S LIGHTS, CAMERA AND ACTION AT BAY’S CINEMA!!
Written by Jay Richards on 29/09/2020
Cinemas across the country have now re-opened to the General Public and business is picking up. Vue began a phased reopening of its cinemas across the country on Friday 7th August, with tickets going on sale for the first ten sites on Thursday 30th July and opened its Torbay site on the 26th August in time for the Summer Bank Holiday.
The company was founded in 1999 by Stewart Blair, a former executive of United Artists Theatres and Tim Richards, a former executive of Warner Bros. International Theatres. The first cinema to open was under the ‘Circuit Cinema’ brand in Livingston, Scotland, on 5 October 2000. The movie giant has over 850 screens throughout the UK and Ireland, which were all forced to close during the lock-down period and all held an uncertain future.
Since the lockdown restrictions have been revised, the company has been able to open its theatres once again, with social distancing and additional stringent cleaning and hygiene regulations in place. The Torbay site in Paignton was originally ‘The Festival Theatre’ which opened in June 1967 as a live theatre. The building was designed in a style similar to Art Deco cinemas of the 1930’s. Seating in the auditorium was provided for 1,470 on a single stepped floor. There was a restaurant and two licenced bars. The Festival Theatre closed on 3rd January 1999 with the show ‘Cinderella – on Ice”. It had a major renovation and was converted into the Apollo 9 Cinema which opened in Summer 1999. Seating capacities in the screens ranged from 360, down to 33. Initially operated by the local council, in later years it was operated by Apollo Leisure Ltd before being taken over in late 2014 by Vue Cinemas as it is now known.
Vue Cinemas Torbay, now has 9 public screens which are now all totally automated. There is no longer the necessity for a projectionist like in former times, all the movies are played directly from ‘solid state media drives’, ‘35mm movie film’ is now a thing of the past and all movies are now ‘piped’ to the screens via a digitally encrypted military grade computer feed. Vue Torbay is currently showing, amongst others, the blockbuster hit ‘Tenet’, a story of a secret agent who embarks on a dangerous, time-bending mission to prevent the start of World War III. Tenet is a 2020 action-thriller and science fiction film written and directed by Christopher Nolan, who produced it with Emma Thomas. A co-production between the United Kingdom and United States, it stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh.