Excited film goers flock back to Cinema City
- Credit: Danielle Booden
Film fans are celebrating the return of the silver screen after a city centre cinema opened its doors after lockdown.
Cinema City on St Andrew's Street kicked off its reopening with a 2.30pm screening of Oscar-winning Nomadland in front of a socially distanced audience.
Nursery practitioner, Susanna Rumney, 63, from Wymondham, who was watching the film with her friend, Sue King, from Norwich, said: "We are happy. It is lovely to see places open again. You have to take that leap of faith."
She added she could have watched it on her television but wanted to enjoy the full cinema experience after watching films at home over the past year.
Another audience member, Paul Cubitt, from Sprowston, was visiting to celebrate his 73rd birthday.
The retired postman said: "I love going to the theatre and this is the closest thing there is to it at the moment."
Couple Linda McFarlane, 68, and her husband, Gavin, 70, from Norwich's Golden Triangle, were looking forward to the film after a visit to an art exhibition.
Mrs McFarlane said: "We are being careful but it is fabulous to be here. It is lovely to see Norwich in the sun. Our role is to help support these places."
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Supervisor Jenny Lythell, who has worked at Cinema City since 2007, said it was heartbreaking to see the venue closed for several months and was happy to see familiar faces again.
She said: "I'm very positive about the lockdown easing. Our demographic is older and a lot of them would have had their vaccines."
Her colleague, barman Kelvin Johnston, 26, said he felt relief that the coronavirus lockdown was coming to an end.
The Norwich University of the Arts film student added: "Cinema City staff are a close bunch. It is nice to have some form of normality again."
He added that compared to the cinema's brief reopening last year, the atmosphere on May 19 was more upbeat.
To keep people safe, the cinema's three auditoriums were seating half the amount of people they normally would.
Jenny Allison, marketing manager, hoped to reopen the restaurant could reopen at the end of June if social distancing measures are relaxed.
She added the cinema experience brought about a "sense of belonging" and community for viewers.
Our Summer in the City campaign encourages people to get out and about in Norwich this summer, and to make the most of its shops, pubs and restaurants and events