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Palace Nova Prospect first indoor cinema to reopen

Film

Palace Nova will screen a showcase of ‘old and new favourites’ when it reopens its Prospect Cinema today – albeit with just 80 of the complex’s 670 seats available due to social distancing rules.

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After a 10-week closure as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown, Palace Nova management believes it is the first indoor cinema in Australia to get back in business.

Four sessions a day will be presented on the Prospect cinema’s 14 screens, including the new biopic Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (about singer Leonard Cohen and his muse, Marianne Ihlen) and films released just before the pandemic hit, such as horror movie The Invisible Man, Best Picture Oscar winner Parasite and New Zealand director Taika Waititi’s black comedy Jojo Rabbit.

With new-release blockbusters in short supply due to the pandemic shutdown, the line-up for the coming week also includes classics like The Castle and Blade Runner, along with Hollywood director Christopher Nolan’s Inception and The Dark Knight.

“We are so grateful for the fact that we can reopen our doors and share our unique movie-going experience with the people of Adelaide again,” Palace Nova state manager Karen Karpinski said in a statement.

A spokesperson told InDaily that Palace Nova’s Eastend cinema, off Rundle Street, is expected to open this Friday with a similar line-up of screenings.

While the South Australian Government’s roadmap for easing COVID-19 restrictions allows all cinemas to reopen from today, they can have a maximum capacity of only 80 people, with 20 “per room / group” and 1.5m required between each person.

SA’s Wallis Cinemas reopened its Mainline Drive-In at Gepps Cross on Friday, with reduced capacity, but told InDaily last week that it wasn’t viable to open its other cinemas at this stage.

National chains such as Hoyts and Event Cinemas have given no date for the planned reopening of their venues.

Palace Nova acknowledged that with the limited seating allowed – including only 11 people in Prospect’s smallest cinema – its reopening was unlikely to be profitable. However, it was proceeding to “exhibit confidence in the industry and in the people of South Australia”.

Patrons are encouraged to book tickets online, and the cinema says it will enforce safety measures such as “marked inter-personal spacing”, staff temperature checks and rigorous sanitising and cleaning.

It is also promising to add new-release films to its schedule in the coming weeks – including Nolan’s latest thriller, Tenet.

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