As the country makes another major step towards normality, film buffs in the Granite City were “absolutely ecstatic” to once again hit the cinema and enjoy their favourite moving pictures on the big screen.
Nearly five months after entertainment venues were forced shut due to the implemented lockdown restrictions, a number of businesses have finally been given the go-ahead to reopen.
These include cinemas, amusement arcades and even bowling alleys.
Dozens of people flocked to Vue Aberdeen on Monday morning to share the “one-of-a-kind” cinema experience – the gasps, shrieks and belly laughs – with family and friends.
Three years’ worth of new releases will be coming to the big screen over the next 18 months, including Peter Rabbit: The Runaway, A Quiet Place 2, Top Gun: Maverick, Minions: The Rise of Gru and Fast & Furious 9.
Family and friends eager to see their favourite films
Allan Clark was one of the first to rush through the doors with his four-year-old daughter Kacie to see the new adventures of Peter Rabbit.
The 38-year-old said: “We booked on Friday, because we knew it was coming, and it’s just good to have some normality back – to spend time together as a family again and have this kind of experience.”
Robert Gordon University student Connor Faulkner was also eager to finally get together with his friends for a long-awaited cinema visit.
The 25-year-old explained how this kind of experience has no match.
“I enjoy seeing the big screen and the kind of a hide-away, and the cinema has always been a sort of a comfort zone for me”, Mr Faulkner said.
“I was devastated, when all of that got taken away during the pandemic, so I’m really excited to be back.
“Literally, as soon as they announced that cinemas will be reopening on May 17, I checked all the venues and booked a ticket.”
Mr Faulkner’s friend, 23-year-old Jonathan Debris, added: “It’s so nice to be back, but mostly, it’s great to just hang out with my friends again and do something different than just sit in the park.
It’s little things like these that really help people glow up after all we’ve been through.”
Ryan Greig, 29, and Eilidh Dorward, 26, were among the customers, who couldn’t wait to grab a box of popcorn and see the all-time classic Lord of the Rings on the big screen.
Ms Dorward said: “Being able to see films on the big screen is one-of-a-kind experience that just can’t compare to watching films at home and we are just so happy that it has opened again.
“We’ve really missed coming to the cinema and it’s just great to be back.”
Ensuring the safety of customers and staff
A range of special measures have been introduced at Vue Aberdeen to ensure the safety of all visitors and staff.
As soon as they come through the doors, customers are asked to register on the cinema’s Track and Trace system before heading to the counter for snacks and tickets.
A new queuing system, social distancing markers and hand sanitisers have also been put in place in the foyer and along the hallways to help customers get to their screen as safe as possible.
General manager Andrew Dykes said: “We are ecstatic to finally reopen after over six months of waiting.
“We’ve had quite a lot of people on the first day already – a lot more than what we expected – and it’s been very good to welcome some of our regular customers and also see some new faces.
“We have three years’ worth of films coming out in the next few months, so our programme is looking very strong at the moment.
“One film that most people have been long anticipating is James Bond: No Time To Die, which is finally coming out on September 30, along with many other new releases down the pipeline.
“It’s fantastic and we are all very excited.”