After 4 months of Covid-19 related lockdown, the cinemas at Riverside Studios become one of the first in London to reopen today with a programme of family favourites, classic titles and award-winning films.
Riverside, under a new leadership team that sees Rachel Tackley take the creative reigns of the iconic complex, has recently undergone a five year, £50m refurbishment, creating a multi-disciplinary arts and live events venue encompassing two theatres, television studios, as well as rehearsal and event spaces.
“We wanted to create a re-opening programme that would give families the chance to step out in safety, and experience something iconic on the big screen, after feeling trapped indoors for the past few months,” Tackley said.
The cinema’s opening, which will follow government advice and social distancing guidelines, leads with Robert Zemeckis’ 1985 classic Back to the Future, before going into a weekend that features Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and the critically acclaimed coming of age comedy, Bend it like Beckham.
Riverside’s restaurants and bars are currently open with The Bakery and The Bar and Kitchen; and brasserie - Sam’s Riverside, the new restaurant run by Sam Harrison. But for cinemagoers the main attraction will be a bespoke, handmade selection of treats from the Riverside kitchen – featuring homemade marshmallow, fudge, gummy bears and cookies.
In addition, Riverside continues its community-focused Digital Dive In programme with a wide range of virtual events and activities, from online yoga classes to curated discussions about film, to keep audiences occupied and engaged during the Coronavirus lockdown. Their next virtual cinema event is for Mulholland Drive on 27 July.
The television studios are in full use, and following government guidance on indoor theatre reopening, Riverside will be looking to return to performance “as soon as it is safe and viable to do so,” says Tackley.
Rachel Tackley joins Tony Lankester - Interim Executive Director, and Guy Hornsby - Interim Business and Finance Director, to form a leadership team to take Riverside forward in the newly refurbished building. This follows the recent departure of William Burdett-Coutts, who left Riverside Studios after a 27-year tenure. Tackley has had a varied career enabling and producing productions in London, throughout the UK and worldwide. She has worked extensively in the commercial and not-for profit sectors. She was most recently working freelance, and as Executive Director for ATG Productions focusing on future planning, commissioning and development, as well as day to day management of the company. She was previously Executive Director at Chichester Festival Theatre and before that Director of English Touring Theatre.
Riverside are putting customer safety and well-being at the forefront of their reopening measures, and, as a result, the cinema capacity has been reduced from 200 to 68. This means that audiences will be unable to pre-book specifics seats, and these will be allocated in advance to ensure at least 1m+ social distancing. Audiences are encouraged to book in advance to ensure the best experience possible. As a courtesy to others, Riverside would ask that face masks are worn – staff will likewise be wearing face masks.
LISTINGS FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING 24 JULY:
24 July, 1pm – 3.16pm Back to the Future
25 July, 1pm – 3.16pm Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
26 July, 1pm – 2.55pm Bend It Like Beckham
27 July, 1pm – 3.24pm Spirited Away
28 July, 1pm – 3.11pm The Goonies
29 July, 1pm – 2.55pm Paddington
30 July, 1pm – .22pm Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
31 July, 1pm – 3:11pm Flash Gordon (Special 40th Anniversary 4K Restoration)
31 July, 4pm - 6:08pm Proxima
31 July, 7pm - 9:12pm Parasite - Black and White Edition
1 August, 1pm - 3:11pm Flash Gordon (Special 40th Anniversary 4K Restoration)
1 August, 4pm - 6:08pm Proxima
1 August, 7pm - 9:12pm Parasite - Black and White Edition
2 August, 1pm - 3:11pm Flash Gordon (Special 40th Anniversary 4K Restoration)
2 August, 4pm - 6:08pm Proxima
2 August, 7pm - 9:12pm Parasite - Black and White Edition
3 August, 1pm - 3:11pm The Princess Bride
3 August, 4pm - 6:08pm Proxima
3 August, 7pm - 9:12pm Parasite - Black and White Edition
4 August, 2pm - 4:11pm Flash Gordon (Special 40th Anniversary 4K Restoration)
4 August, 4pm - 6:08pm Proxima
4 August, 7pm - 9:12pm Parasite - Black and White Edition
5 August, 1pm – 2:58pm Labyrinth
5 August, 2pm – 4:11pm Flash Gordon (Special 40th Anniversary 4K Restoration)
5 August, 4pm - 6:08pm Proxima
5 August, 7pm - 9:12pm Parasite - Black and White Edition
6 August, 1pm – 3pm The Lego Movie
6 August, 2pm – 4:11pm Flash Gordon (Special 40th Anniversary 4K Restoration)
6 August, 4pm - 6:08pm Proxima
6 August, 7pm - 9:12pm Parasite - Black and White Edition
Further details, and to book: https://www.riversidestudios.co.uk/book/cinema