After opening for the first time in October last year, the Marischal Street cinema was forced to close its doors again just two months later as the second wave of Covid-19 resulted in a return to lockdown.
But with restrictions now easing, there’s great excitement as the cinema prepares for screenings of blockbuster movies such as the soon-to-be-released Peter Rabbit 2 and Spiral: From the Book of Saw.
Cinema manager Laura Daramola said: “The staff are all really eager to get back, they are all from Peterhead and they are all excited that we not only have a cinema but to be working in it too.
"They’re just eager to get people back in to see films. It’s going to be good.”
After many years without a cinema in the town, Peterhead was looking forward to Arc Cinema opening in December 2019. That got pushed back three months – and then the Covid-19 pandemic struck.
Finally, the cinema was able to open for the first time on October 2 last year, and despite only being open for a short two-month run, it proved to be a successful time.
"We actually did quite well when we first opened,” said Laura. “We were really busy considering the reduced capacity because of the two-metre ruling. It’s not ideal opening up in a pandemic, but we managed and I think everyone loved it.
"We got really good reviews, and I’m getting so many messages asking when we’re opening again, so I think everyone is really keen to get back to watching movies on the big screen.”
Staff will be doing everything possible to keep customers safe when the cinema reopens. Social distancing will be in place, there will be regular cleaning throughout the buidling and threatres will be sanitised after every film screening.
Customers are encouraged to book in advance online, although bookings will still be accepted at the till.
"We’re very much making sure we’re sticking to the guidelines, but trying to give everyone that bit of normality,” said Laura.
"I think everyone is enjoying getting out to the pubs and cafes, just to get out and do something, and I’m sure going to the cinema will be no different.”
The film most people seem to be looking forward to seeing at the moment appears to be Peter Rabbit 2, and Laura is expecting many more new releases as things return to normal.
"The ones that have been most anticipated, like the James Bond movie, have been getting delayed. I think that’s been pushed back to October. Hopefully, however, with cinemas reopening, film compa nies will have the confidence to release their new movies.
"It’s good to have new films this time – although last time we opened, we did Dirty Dancing, and we were fully booked every single night and that’s an ’80s or ’90s film!”