Pints and popcorn: Pubs booked out and films queued up for bank holiday reopening

Ireland will take another stride out of lockdown this bank holiday Monday with the reopening of outdoor hospitality, cinemas and gyms
Pints and popcorn: Pubs booked out and films queued up for bank holiday reopening

Ireland will take another stride out of lockdown this bank holiday Monday with the reopening of outdoor hospitality, cinemas and gyms.

Around 4,000 pubs are expected to reopen tomorrow while 25,000 staff will return to work, according to the Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI).

Many pubs are booked out for the bank holiday return, with publicans reporting strong bookings for the first day back. VFI said some are reserving tables for “walks-ins” to cater for customers on the day.

Conor O’Neill getting his pub ready at The Glyde Inn, Annagassan, Co Louth. Photo: Conor McCabe Photography.
Paul and Anne O’Neill getting their pub ready at The Glyde Inn, Annagassan, Co Louth. Photo: Conor McCabe Photography.

“There is a strong sense of anticipation among publicans to get open and get back to what they do best. The message from publicans to old regulars and new customers alike is ‘we’ve missed you and welcome back’,” Padraig Cribben, VFI chief executive said.

“The reopening for outdoor service will also see 25,000 staff return to work after an horrendous 15 months... For the vast majority of publicans, outdoor service will keep them ticking over until indoor trading resumes on 5th July.

“We’re acutely aware that thousands of our members cannot open this week at they have no outdoor space and will have to wait another four weeks to resume trading,” he added.

It comes as a Dublin publican has spoken of the challenge Ireland’s pub industry faces in replacing the people skills of staff who have left the trade during the pandemic.

Matilda (3) and Oliver (5) Wren from Kildare at the Odeon Cinema in Newbridge. Photo: Karen Morgan.
Matilda (3) and Oliver (5) Wren from Kildare at the Odeon Cinema in Newbridge. Photo: Karen Morgan.

Meanwhile, cinemas will also reopen nationwide on Monday, with new releases hitting the big screen including Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, Cruella and A Quiet Place 2.

Odeon will reopen all eleven of its cinemas located throughout Dublin, Waterford, Cavan, Limerick, Laois and Kildare.

The cinema operator is attempting to entice customers back with online tickets priced at €6 for members of its myODEON club.

Seats for sale in each film will be limited to a maximum of 50 to facilitate social distancing, while show times will be staggered to reduce queues and enhanced cleaning routines will be in place.

“I am delighted to be welcoming guests back to experience the joy of the big screen at Odeon on Monday 7th June when all our cinemas reopen in Ireland,” Carol Welch, managing director of the Odeon Cinemas Group UK and Ireland said.

“We’ve all missed the magic that the cinema brings to movie watching and we know our guests are excited about coming back”.

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