A BRIDPORT theatre and cinema will not be reopening until the end of summer as the industry deals with the 'consequences' of multiple lockdowns.

The Electric Palace on South Street has no plans to reopen until late August at the earliest, despite the fact that cinemas and theatres are able to reopen when lockdown restrictions are further lifted this Monday, May 17.

Theatres, cinemas and indoor performance venues are permitted to reopen from next week with a limited capacity and it is hoped they will be able to return to full capacity from Monday, June 21.

With the lack of content being released by film distribution companies and the restrictions still set to be in place at cinemas, Alasdair Warren, owner of The Electric Palace, does not believe it will be economically viable for the venue to reopen its doors until the end of summer.

He said: "The two main issues for cinemas and theatres are firstly, that to turn a profit you need to be able to run at maximum capacity. Secondly, you need a stream of content coming through and the content just isn't there and the moment.

"There are very few films that are available and almost no comedy acts. That leaves music, which is a very high risk proposition for us, we wouldn't make money unless at full capacity.

"There is a lot of content filmed and ready to go but the distributors aren't releasing it yet as various parts of the world are still in lockdown, even if the UK is coming out.

"No comedians are touring as it doesn't work out economically for them until they can do shows with full capacity.

"In addition, we don’t show films within the first six weeks of their release so likely we won't have the content until the end of the summer."

A vast amount of cinema releases planned for 2020 and 2021 release dates have been pushed back by their studios until they can be seen by the largest amount of people possible - resulting in a lack of blockbuster films for cinemas to display.

Mr Warren added: "The plan is to open around late August, early September - hopefully by then the content has caught up.

"People don’t necessarily think of the consequences that the pandemic has had on the industry. We are able to reopen but what can we show? This will take a long time for us to get back to normality.

The cinema and theatre industry takes a long time to rebuild and to get back to normality. We will have to see what the long term consequences for cinema and performing arts are."