Vue Preston manager believes that cinema has survived the pandemic

The counter at Vue cinema in Preston.
Vue cinema in Preston has seen an upturn in customers (credit: Connor Gracey)

A lot of people, including Graham Royston, Vue’s Manager, were sceptical about whether cinema would survive COVID-19, surprisingly it could be suggested that it has been regenerated.

Cinema is bouncing back, according to statistics from the UK Cinema Association, despite fears that many venues would not survive the pandemic.

The number of admissions in the north have more than doubled from 407,407 on average, per month in 2020, to 782,567 in 2021.

This is compared to the national statistics of 3,666,666 in 2020, and 7,043,108 this year.

The Chapel in Ormskirk said: “We only took over this venue a month into lockdown.

“Older people are more reluctant to come to shows generally, though there’s an appetite to see to live performance albeit, but we have been selling out.”

Some cinemas did not survive the lockdowns, including The Palace in Longridge, which closed its doors on September 14, 2021.

Laura Hewitt, a member of The Palace’s team said: “Due to financial pressures, Parkwood (the owners) need to sell the Palace in order to pay off bank loans taken out during the pandemic.”

Before the pandemic, in 2018 and 2019, cinema admissions were upwards of 1.7 million a year in the north.

Some of the highest-grossing movies of all time, such as Avengers: Infinity War, were released in 2018 with its sequel to Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame the year after.

The popularity of these films may explain the high sales as these films are the third and fourth in the list of the top-grossing films of all time.

In 2021, the release of Daniel Craig’s last James Bond film “No Time To Die” brought a lot of attention back to the cinema.

Graham Royston, General Manager at Vue Entertainment, Preston, said: “I think Bond was the real test of ‘are cinema audiences ready to come back to the cinema?’”

He continued: “If something like Bond wasn’t going to do well it would indicate that other big films wouldn’t do so well either down the line.”