Cinemas given 450 film catalogue of classics to entice public back

The UK’s film distributors are making 450 classic films available for cinemas to attract audience when they’re allowed to re-open, as early as next month.

With so much uncertainty, few distributors are risking scheduling new releases, so cinemas could find themselves opening with new films to screen.

Last year’s Rocketman is one of the more recent titles being offered to attract audiences back into cinemas when the coronavirus lockdown is relaxed further.

Under the current time-table, it’s thought that UK cinemas could be able to welcome the public back from early July – the Cineworld chain is planning for a 10th July reopening and the first big release isn’t likely to be until two weeks later, when Christopher Nolan’s Tenet is scheduled for release, with Disney’s live-action version of Mulan expected to come out a week later.

In the meantime, the Film Distributors’ Association has announced a line-up of classics – split into 25 categories – including franchise favourites, family and event cinema – that cinemas will be able to show.

Rob Reiner’s fantasy rom-com The Princess Bride is also in the FDA’s catalogue to welcome back cinema-goers.

They’ll cover a full range of genres, from comedies – such as Anchorman, Some Like It Hot, Bridesmaids and the Hangover films, musicals – including La La Land, Rocketman, The Wizard of Oz and Singin’ in the Rain, war films – such as 1917 and Dunkirk, family favourites – including The Princess Bride, Onward and Peter Rabbit, sci-fi epics – such as Gravity and The Empire Strikes Back and franchise blockbusters – among them, Harry Potter, the Fast & Furious films, Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy and Aquaman.

Andy Leyshon, from the Film Distributors’ Association, said, “This amazing collection of content represents all that’s great about cinema and should enthrall and delight film-lovers the length and breadth of the land. Cinemagoing holds such a vital role in society, able to entertain and educate in equal measure, and returning audiences will be able to once again experience the magic of film in its truest form.”