Film fans missing their dose of big screen escapism are on the countdown to once again being able to enjoy a Hollywood blockbuster or independent gem with a side of popcorn in their nearest cinema.
The last time Scots took a seat, Christmas classics were screening and the new Wonder Woman movie was the latest release.
Now, more than three months on, there’s something for films fans to look forward to as some cinemas not only line up their hopeful reopening date…but reveal which films will be on the running order too.
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway and Disney’s latest film Cruella are will be the headliners at Peterhead’s Arc Cinema, which opened for the first time in October and has already confirmed it will return on May 17.
Manager Laura Daramola said: “We are very excited to be opening again.
“All my staff are very eager to get back and give customers a fantastic film experience and we are so excited there are new movies coming out now.
“Although our customers were absolutely loving the older movies we were playing it’s going to be fantastic to show new releases.
“I think most of all we will enjoy bringing some sort of normality and fun back to everyday life.”
Animated film Peter Rabbit 2 will show from May 21, followed by Cruella one premiering one week later.
The Conjuring 3 follows on May 28, before A Quiet Place II joins the bill on June 4.
At the same time, Fort William cinema-goers can expect further blockbusters including the latest James Bond offering to air at the Highland Cinema as it reopens its cafe bar on April 26 and the cinema itself on May 17.
Marketing manager Hamish McIntyre said: “While film release dates are still fluid, we’re looking forward to showing big titles as soon as we can, including Black Widow, Nomadland, Cruella, In The Heights, Peter Rabbit 2, A Quiet Place II, Top Gun: Maverick, 007’s No Time To Die, and many more…all better seen on a big screen.
“We’ve been busy during the lockdown, too, with some great new changes to our interiors and updates to our food and drinks menus for guests to discover.
“We remain optimistic about our future and believe we offer the very best experience for film and food lovers in Lochaber.”
Highland Cinema is currently working with the Fort William Mountain Festival team to put together a Spring weekend of outdoor films at the end of May, starting with a Touching The Void event with adventure cinematographer Keith Partridge.
In Elgin, the Moray Playhouse is working to confirm its reopening date, following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions in the UK as part of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown.
A spokesman said: “We have worked hard to make adjustments to ensure a safe environment for everyone – and those who visited late last year were delighted with them.
“We await further advice from government on the details of new guidelines and are very much hoping that they will initially allow us to open using the 1m+ rules.
“We are in discussion with film distributors to ensure an exciting movie line-up for re-opening.
“Cinema remains the most popular cultural activity in the country and the two years prior to lockdown brought record admissions.
He added: “Hollywood continues to produce quality films best experienced with friends on the big screen.
“For those who can’t wait, we are launching athome.morayplayhouse.co.uk in the coming days which will offer a selection of Scottish, international and cultural films on demand.”
Aberdeen’s independent cinema Belmont Filmhouse launched its online movie streaming platform ‘Filmhouse at Home’ last week, offering specially-curated cinema to watch from home while it waits for more guidance before announcing a reopening date.
Thurso’s independent Merlin Cinema and Eden Court cinema in Inverness are also working out reopening plans.
Similarly, the three major chains in the UK – Odeon, Vue and Cineworld – will likely announce firm plans for their reopening in the coming weeks, with the latter already announcing an indicative reopening of all its 127 outlets UK-wide on May 17.