Cinema chain Hoyts will reopen all of its cinemas tomorrow evening.
In an announcement, the Chinese-owned multiplex cinema operator said it would reopen all 10 of its theatres across New Zealand from tomorrow, following a successful trial reopening with its three Christchurch cinemas late last week.
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The cinema chain will be re-showing movies that were released earlier in the year, before the Covid-19 pandemic forced a mandatory shutdown of all businesses and entertainment venues at the end of March.
Jojo Rabbit, Bloodshot, Sonic The Hedgehog and Trolls World Tour will screen over the next few weeks before Tenet, Mulan, and Wonder Woman 1984 are released next month.
Hoyts said its had been planning for the reopening of its locations during the lockdown period to ensure its customers and staff were in the "safest possible environment".
It had been retraining staff, implemented additional cleaning measures and encouraged online bookings as part of this, he said. It will continue to offer the option to purchase tickets and food and drink online in advance of screenings.
"While restrictions have been lifted, Hoyts says it will continue to maintain a safe and healthy environment for guests and staff," the company said in a statement.
Last month, Hoyts told the Herald it had opened its three Christchurch locations as part of testing new ways of operating with additional cleaning measurements and inline with Ministry of Health guidelines.
"We are excited to re-open our doors and for the opportunity to welcome guests back to enjoy the HOYTS experience," it said last month.
"We have been advanced in preparations to ensure guests and team members are in the safest possible environment. These measures include additional staff training, temperature checks for staff, additional cleaning protocols, in-cinema seat separation chequerboard style, encouragement for online bookings and social distancing."
New Zealand's largest cinema chain last week said it could still be more than a month before it reopens its 19 multiplex cinema locations.
Most businesses and other entertainment venues have reopened after the mandatory lockdown, but cinemas have remained closed through alert levels 4, 3 and 2.
National cinema group Reading Cinemas has since reopened its nine theatres, albeit with reduced seating numbers and increased hygiene measures.
Event Cinemas said reopening its locations in New Zealand depended on global film releases scheduled by the major Hollywood studios and how the alert level restrictions applied to cinemas.
Carmen Switzer, general manager of Event Cinemas NZ, told the Herald that it would not be viable for multiplex cinemas to reopen until the next major film release, which is Warner Brothers' Tenet - scheduled for July 16.
The chain, however, said it was exploring ways it could reopen its cinemas before that to show classics titles or older film releases.