Cineworld says its seating is “in line with the government’s regulations”

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Cineworld responds to questions over the spaces between the seats you’re able to book in its cinemas, and clarifies that it’s following regulations.

A few readers contacted us towards the end of last week expressing concern over the seat planning at their local Cineworld multiplex. That the chain has reopened its sites around the UK, and is introducing social distancing in its booking system. But that social distancing is being implemented on a row-by-row basis.

As such, if you head to the Cineworld website to book seats for a film, you cannot book a seat next to someone else not in your party. If you try to do so, the system will return an error.

However, as many have noticed – and Odeon is similar – what you can do is book a seat directly behind or in front of another person. That the social distancing on the surface only appears to cover sitting next to someone.

We put this to Cineworld, and via Twitter it has come back and clarified its position. “The social distancing measures we’ve implemented in our auditoriums”, it wrote, “are in line with the government’s regulations and recommendations”.

Those regulations and recommendations require a one metre space between patrons sitting in an auditorium. We’ve not been inside a Cineworld to measure the gap between rows of seats, but the chain is insistent it’s in compliance with what it needs to do. You can find its Tweet to us here.

It’s worth noting too that Showcase Cinemas is earning much praise for the way it’s handling its reopening, where more rigorous social distancing is being implemented between seats.


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