COVID-19 FAQs 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Staff Writer

26 Aug 20

When will my local Picturehouse Cinema reopen?

All Picturehouse Cinemas are now open. You can read our overall reopening announcement and find out more by clicking here.

What safety precautions have Picturehouse put in place to reopen?

As always, the health and wellbeing of our employees and customers is our number one priority. 

In light of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and government advice, we have put a number of safety measures in place which will allow us to provide a safe environment for our employees and customers. This includes: 

Are Picturehouse Cinemas affected by the Government's curfew restrictions?

Cinemas in England are not required to close by 10pm but our cinemas will stop serving alcohol by 10pm and no screenings will commence after 10pm. We continue to closely follow the government guidelines and will keep our customers updated on any changes.

Can I book more than 6 tickets at one time? 

Following the recent change in government guidelines and the 'rule of 6' that has been introduced, our system will now automatically not allow group bookings bigger than 6 people. As always, we appreciate our customers following the rules to help keep all staff and fellow customers safe.

How will social/physical distancing be maintained? 

All employee and customer areas will be arranged and managed so as to encourage and maintain social/physical distancing within our cinemas. 

In order to allow social/physical distancing inside of our cinema screens, we have implemented new dynamic allocated seating which will ensure a safe distance between customers from different households.  

Film start and end times will be staggered to allow customers to exit without crossing paths with customers going in or out of other screens.  Additional cleaning time will be added between films.

Will face coverings be mandatory for customers and your staff? 

Our staff will be provided with face coverings or visors as part of their uniform and in addition, all employees will receive specific COVID-19 training. In line with government guidelines, all customers must wear a face covering in our cinemas. Customers can remove them to eat and drink in our cafes, bars and screens.

Are there any exemptions to wearing face coverings in your cinemas?

Yes, the following groups are exempt and won't need to wear face coverings in our cinemas:

We recommend customers who are exempt please let the member of staff serving them know.  Staff will be trained not to challenge customers in relation to the above exemptions but instead to take the customer at their word.

Will your refund policy be changing?

As we reopen our cinemas after the UK lockdown we are amending our refund policy. This will ensure there is more flexibility for customers who show symptoms or are unable to make the screening for other reasons.

Customers will now be able to receive a refund up to 2 hours before their show, minus booking fees.

Refunds are only available through our Customer Care team who will be happy to help you with this. Please call 0207 018 3629 (calls charged at your local rate).

How will toilets operate safely? 

All the toilets in our cinemas will be cleaned frequently and the frequency of checks will be increased. Where possible, there will be staff members monitoring the toilets during busy periods and controlling capacity. We will be working together with our customers to ensure that toilets are clean and safe at all times. 

I have symptoms of Covid-19, can I receive a refund on my tickets?

Following government guidance, we ask that you and members of your household do not come to the cinema if one of you is showing symptoms.

If you or a member of your household have symptoms of Covid-19, please call our Customer Care team on 0207 018 3629 (calls charged at your local rate), who will be able to help issue you a refund (minus any booking fees) up to 2 hours before your show.

How will you monitor the number of people in the toilets at one time? 

Each cinema has been assessed separately and toilets will have a maximum capacity, depending on the size, and there will be clear signage indicating this. Where possible, there will be staff members monitoring the toilets during busy periods and controlling capacity.

Where will hand sanitizer be placed in the cinema? 

All cinemas will have at least one sanitisation station which will contain hand sanitising gel. The locations will vary from cinema to cinema depending on layout and will be manned by a member of our staff. 

How will you ensure social distancing if customers choose to leave the screen during the film to use the toilet or purchase food/drinks? 

With reduced capacity and the allocated seating system, customers passing other groups in the same row outside of their group should be minimal and therefore extremely low risk. 

How will you monitor people entering and leaving the cinema screen in a safe manner before/after a film?

There will be a member of staff present before and after each screening, monitoring and ensuring the safe entry/exit of our customers.

Will you be taking temperatures before people enter the building?

In line with government guidance, we will not be asking to take people's temperatures when they arrive at one of our cinemas. 

All our staff will need to declare at the start of each shift that they and all members of their household are symptom-free and have been for 7 days. 

We respectfully ask that customers do not visit the cinema if they know they have any of the recognised signs. More information here.

If you need to cancel your cinema tickets just before your visit, please contact our Customer Care Team.

Will you have signage on the front door asking people not to enter if they have symptoms?

Yes, we will and it will include an overview of the recognised symptoms. 

What happens if a customer is showing symptoms once they are in the cinema?

If a customer is showing symptoms, or advises staff once they're in the building that they may have symptoms,  we will respectfully have to ask them and their group to leave to ensure the safety of fellow customers and staff. All of the group would be given a refund via our  Customer Care Team.

How will you monitor families / bubbles sitting together?

When customers are booking tickets online, or in a cinema, we will remind customers that customers are required to sit with their households. 

We will encourage our customers to respect other customers and staff whilst in our cinemas and ensure they are using the allocated seating system. 

There will also be more frequent screen checks, to ensure that customers remember to remain in their allocated seat.

Can I bring my buggy to Big Scream screenings?

Due to social distancing, each site has a capacity of buggies that can be in the building at any one time, this has been determined by a Risk Assessment. Buggies are more than welcome, but if possible and to avoid disappointment please consider alternative options.

How will you ensure social distancing in the screen if customers purchase their tickets last minute at the cinema (rather than online?)

All tickets will be allocated a seat which is a safe distance away from others. The exact distances will vary depending on screen size but they will always be 1meter plus, in line with government guidance.

Do you ensure social/physical distancing in screen when booking tickets online?

Yes we do. Please note that when choosing your seats, our website will automatically ensure that social distancing is in place between other customers outside of your group. This may not be immediately apparent on screen when selecting your seats. The exact distances will vary depending on screen size but they will always be 1 meter plus in England and 2m in Scotland, in line with government guidance.

Will you be able to pay with cash?

Yes but contactless payments are preferred and encouraged for the safety of our customers and staff. There will be a limited number of cash tills in each cinema. All tills can accept contactless methods and the limit on payments has been raised to £45 now. 

Will I be able to buy tickets at the cinema? 

Whilst there will be capacity to buy tickets at our cinemas, we would encourage all customers to book in advance to help maintain the correct social distancing measures. 

Will I be able to buy food and drink at the cinema? 

Our kiosks will be fully stocked and our wide range of delicious snacks and drinks will be available. 

In line with government advice we have started to re-open cafes, restaurants and bars. Please check your local Picturehouse Cinema page for more information.

Will my Membership be extended to compensate for the period of closure? 

We will be extending your Picturehouse Membership for the total duration of time that we were closed plus an extra 30 days on their Membership as a thank you for bearing with us during these unprecedented times. 

Will the Picturehouse Central or Fulham Road Picturehouse Members' Bars open when the cinemas reopen? 


I still need a ticket refund, what do I do? 

Please contact our Customer Care team on [email protected] and we'll be happy to help. 

Will my Picturehouse gift card / gift box still be valid? 

Yes, all Picturehouse gift cards and gift boxes will be accepted until 31 December 2020. 

Can I access my MyPicturehouse account now you are reopening?

Yes, our online account management is now enabled and you can book tickets online. 

I received complimentary ticket codes or retail voucher codes that have expired/are due to expire. Will I get new ones?

If you received your complimentary tickets from the Picturehouse Customer Care team, please email us on [email protected]

If you received your tickets through a third party, such as an employee perks scheme, please contact the scheme direct. 

How do I get in contact with you?

Please contact our customer care team on [email protected] and we'll be happy to help.