Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 9 October 2020
LEICESTER’S PHOENIX cinema and art centre in Leicester’s city centre have reopened their doors this week and powered their projectors on once again for cinema-goers after being closed for six months.
The Midland Street-based entertainment and arts venue have reopened their doors back on Tuesday 6 October with new social distancing measures and extensive safety measures in place, after coming out of lockdown.
The city centre cinema and the café-bar inside will initially open seven days a week from 12pm until 10pm every day.
Whilst fans of film weren’t able to attend over lockdown, they are now spoilt for choice as they can book tickets and watch some of the latest newly-released blockbuster hits on the silver screen once again, such as: Tenet, Summerland, Clemency, Les Misérables, and Saint Maud.
Phoenix are encouraging their customers to buy tickets in advance online on their official website, over at www.phoenix.org.uk.
Staff members at Phoenix have been working hard to ensure the reopened charity’s venue is safe and welcoming for all.
Safety measures in place include allocated seating, reduced capacity in cinema screens, a simplified menu in the Café Bar and table service.
Further safety measures include adjustments to the ventilation system to help increase the fresh air levels. Hand sanitising stations have recently been installed and cleaning has been increased to take place more regularly throughout the venue.
John Rance, Chief Executive Officer at Phoenix, said: “Cultural venues like ours have been hit especially hard by lockdown, but we’ve been heartened by the many hundreds of individual donations we have received from our customers, and public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, and our partners at the BFI.”
‘Phoenix at Home’ development
During the time that the doors to the venue have been closed, the weekly ‘Phoenix at Home’ service was developed. The service has provided film and art recommendations, and content for their customers to enjoy at home.
Phoenix’s art programme will still be hosted online, with a range of artworks and creative learning activities available for users to experience.
The physical gallery will reopen in November with The Idle Index, an exhibition featuring newly commissioned pieces by eight Leicester artists.
Phoenix have even explained that plans in place to take the art programme onto the streets with ‘spectacular’ events in the city centre.
Phoenix 2020 funding
Whilst their doors were shut in lockdown, Phoenix continued to pursue funding for their ‘Phoenix 2020 expansion plan’. The team at the project are ‘delighted’ to report that they were awarded a further £400,000 grant of funding.
The £400,000 grant comes as a number of economic priorities supported by the business rates pool controlled by the local authorities in the city and county of Leicestershire.
John Rance, Phoenix CEO, further added: “We are currently working with our architects and construction partners to develop the final plans and costings for Phoenix 2020, whilst continuing our fundraising efforts.
“Despite the current uncertainty, we are committed to making it happen and have the continued support of our stakeholders and funders.
“We expect to have a further update later in the year.”