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29th Mar 2021

Omniplex wants to offer vaccine-only screenings in Ireland

An interesting idea.

Omniplex, Ireland’s largest cinema chain, is considering running vaccine-only screenings.

The cinema chain have said that it may be a way for them to reopen as currently all their 33 branches in Ireland are closed.

The company director of Omniplex Mark Anderson recently discussed the vaccine-only screenings on Newstalk, but he admitted there are some issues still to be worked out with the idea;

“Would it be legal to distinguish between vaccinated and non-vaccinated people?

That would be all down to the Government’s guidelines on social distancing.

For those people who have received their vaccination, they can go in and there will be no social distancing. Also, as a business we could potentially increase our revenue four-fold, that is something worth considering.

I do think that choice is important, so the same choice would have to be afforded in terms of show times and screenings for vaccinated people and non-vaccinated people.”

While the majority of the population is not expected to be vaccinated until the summer, if vaccine-only screenings do go ahead it could mean the vulnerable and frontline workers would be able to visit cinemas again in the coming weeks.

Anderson says that he feels like these vaccine-only screenings would be a huge boost in moral, especially for those who have had to self isolate for most if not all of the pandemic.

The government are planning to announce which restrictions will be lifted or eased this week, but as it stands it does not seem like non-essential businesses like cinemas will be allowed to open.

Indoor premises like cinemas and theatres have been some of the worst hit by the lockdown restrictions as they have had to remain closed most of last year and are now looking to be close until half way through this year.