Bowness’ Royalty cinema reopens on Friday 30th October after being closed for seven months due to the Coronavirus. The 93-year-old cinema will open with a fortnight’s season of cinema classics, with a different film every night.
“I’m sure people will be aware that a lot of new films, like the new James Bond No Time to Die have been put back and back, but enough is enough and we are going to open again,” said the Royalty’s proprietor Charles Morris. “We have an attractive line-up of recent classics, which I’m sure many people won’t have seen and others will want to see again. There’s nothing like seeing a film on the big screen, which is what they were intended for.”
The season begins on Friday 30th at 7.45 with Breakfast At Tiffany’s, the 1961 classic with Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard. With Halloween in mind, the Saturday matinee is Hocus Pocus, with Bette Midler, followed by Knives Out, a whodunnit with Daniel Craig and a host of other stars, and finally The Shining, the classic Stanley Kubrick film with Jack Nicholson. Sunday 1st continues with Trolls World Tour, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Later in the season the National Theatre’s acclaimed production of The War Horse will be shown.
“We have our large, unspoilt auditorium with 400 seats in the stalls and balcony,” said Mr. Morris, “Which means we can accommodate quite a lot of people and still maintain the necessary social distancing. We are taking all the precautions we can to prevent the spread of the disease.”
Two years ago the Royalty was at the centre of controversy when South Lakeland Council put the premises forward for redevelopment. “Residents were rightly outraged,” said Mr. Morris, “But if they really want to keep their cinema, now is the time to prove it. We can’t wait six months until people feel safer or until a new film comes which takes their fancy. We need their support right now. We will be showing some new films, but as they are from distributors who cannot afford the publicity which the blockbusters get, people might not have heard of them. But I bet 90% of the films we will show would be enjoyed by 90% of the public, if only they gave them a chance.”
Charles Morris took the tenancy of the cinema in June 1992 and since then has added additional screens in unused parts of the building. “The cinema opened in 1927; we’ve seen the art deco palaces of the 1930s come and go, and it looks like we will be seeing some of the multiplexes disappear too, but with the support of the public we’ll still be here. We are just opening the main screen for now,” he said, “But will look at reopening the others depending on the support we get.”