Highland arts venue Eden Court set for partial reopening for first time this week since coronavirus lockdown with cinemas and bistro leading the way
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THE largest arts venue in the Highlands is set to reopen its cinemas and bistro later this week.
Eden Court, which has been closed since the March lockdown, will re-open those facilities from Thursday of this week.
It said in a statement: "We have been planning for the day that we can reopen our building in a sustainable, financially viable way. In July, the Scottish Government announced that cinemas in Scotland could reopen. We decided to reopen our doors this October to give us the time we needed to ensure our building is a safe environment, bring many of our staff back from furlough and programme great films for our loyal audiences. We are now ready to welcome you back to our cinemas and café/ bar, with all the necessary Covid safety measures in place."
Its revamped café and bar will have seating accommodating varying groups of up to six people.
Changes include a new pop-up shop for pre-cinema treats all in a bigger, remodelled open-plan space across our ground floor to allow for social distancing.
It says the revised layout accommodates a selection of cosy seating pods, freshly painted walls and new plants.
It says its air ventilation system has been programmed to pull in 100 per centfresh air, with no air being recirculated.
The cinema reopens with screenings of Tenet, a sci-fi spectacle from action director Christopher Nolan.
“To re-open our doors 226 days after we closed them feels like a huge moment for us. We do so with both excitement and nervousness about how successful our reopening will be, because the pandemic has devastated our cash position. The best way that folks can support us over the coming weeks would be to step-through our doors and work with us to make our re-opening the success it needs to be.”
Also screening will be a new adaptation of The Secret Garden finds wonderment in rural 1940s England, the punk doc White Riot detailing the Rock Against Racism movement and, just in time for Halloween,the acclaimed new psychological horror Saint Maud from British writer-director Rose Glass.
While still unable to offer live theatre performances, over the coming months the venue says it will deliver the very best theatre, opera, ballet and music from around the world, on screen in the OneTouch Theatre.
That will include a number of National Theatre Live productions including War Horse, All My Sons, King Lear, and Fleabag.
Dance fans will be treated to Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes, The Royal Ballet’s Giselle plus Spartacus and Sleeping Beauty from Australian Ballet. Also planned is a production of Aida, performed and recorded live on Sydney Harbour bridge, plus Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace, from the legendary Australian singer-songwriter, composer and screenwriter Nick Cave.
Full details will be online soon and tickets go on sale in early November.
James Mackenzie-Blackman, chief executive, Eden Court, said: “To re-open our doors 226 days after we closed them feels like a huge moment for us. We do so with both excitement and nervousness about how successful our reopening will be, because the pandemic has devastated our cash position. The best way that folks can support us over the coming weeks would be to step-through our doors and work with us to make our re-opening the success it needs to be.”
Paul MacDonald-Taylor, head of film, said: “The light of the Eden Court projectors has been dormant since March. While the safety of our staff and audience will be our paramount concern in the coming months, I’m delighted that our cinemas will be reopening. There is a wealth of wonderful films out there waiting to be shown, where films really need to be seen - in the cinema. I’ve always felt that our screens are a window to the world - it’s now time for that window to be opened again”.