Coronavirus - an update from Broadway
UPDATE TUESDAY 23 JUNE
BROADWAY TO REOPEN IN SEPTEMBER
In light of today’s announcement from the Prime Minister, cinemas and bars can start reopening in England from 4th July. However, we wanted to let all our members and supporters know that we plan on reopening Broadway in September.
Our recent annual survey listed a number of safety measures which could be in place upon reopening and asked respondents to prioritise which were most important to them. It’s clear from the feedback that you’re extremely eager to get back to us but that there were a number of areas that would make that first visit back even better. These measures range from simple signposting of social distancing and antibacterial wash stations, to upgrading of our box office software so customers are able to easily book tickets in advance, order concessions in advance of arrival and check-in at the screen. With a range of measures to implement, we’ve been working hard in the building and with colleagues across the independent cinema sector to ensure that when the lights go down that our customers, tenants and staff feel comfortable and safe.
We also have to consider the programme we bring you when the curtains go up. Operating in the independent cinema sector means that we’re not as reliant on summer blockbusters as the larger multiplexes. In fact, summer can be relatively quiet for us, except that is for the outside terrace, so we’re coordinating with other independent cinemas, distributors and funders to have a common approach to reopening in early autumn. This means that when the doors open, they’ll be new content ready and available for viewing on the big screen.
Finally, Broadway may have relatively small premises but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that cinema customers don’t see, but which are hugely important to us, such as our BFI supported film talent development initiatives, resident filmmakers and arts activities supported by Arts Council England. We need to make sure that all staff, tenants and participants in these initiatives are working, creating and learning in the safest possible environment.
What happens now?
Our social media channels are open, we’ll continue to contact you weekly with the latest films and exclusive offers, and we love to hear your film recommendations every Monday (yes, even if some of the films you’ve been watching have been less than…stellar 😊). We also have exciting projects on the horizon such as our capital refurbishment which is still moving forward and we’ll start sharing more information on how we’re preparing for that over the coming months.
This period of closure has had a huge financial impact on us and of course on audience confidence. We’re under no illusions that it will take time to recover. However, we will do everything we can to make Broadway as safe as possible and we know that you will continue to support us during that time.
Over the past few months hundreds of people have renewed or purchased memberships, bought a voucher or donated to us. It really has meant the world that you have taken the time to do this. Thank you.
We’ll be back…in September.
UPDATE MONDAY 20 APRIL
We've launched our annual survey into customer habits despite being closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
We're keen to discover how customers will adapt to using cinemas and bars once the restrictions on movement are lifted and the doors are open again. Director of Marketing and Communications, Stewart Terry said: “Obviously the closure was essential for the safety of our staff and customers but eventually we’ll be allowed to reopen and when that happens we want to be prepared. People need to feel comfortable when visiting Broadway so it’s important to find out what steps we can take to make sure they’re confident to return.”
UPDATE TUESDAY 14 APRIL
RE: our staff during this time
Upon closure, we committed to paying our staff a full wage in March and the announcement of the government’s Job Retention Scheme (JRS) towards the end of that month led to us furloughing the majority of our teams.
We want to do everything we can so that our staff are not impacted financially, and therefore Broadway will – for as long as it reasonably can - be contributing the balance of 20% to bring employees’ up to full pay, subject to review depending on the length of the current situation.
Our staff are at the heart of Broadway; many of you will know them well and will no doubt be concerned about their financial security at the moment. Please rest assured that the question of what is best for Broadway and for the many that work here has been at the centre of every decision made by us during this unprecedented time of closure.
This year is our 30th anniversary and we know that Broadway is the sum of what our staff and customers make us. We hope that we can continue to bring you the best in UK and world cinema, ground-breaking art and the best food and drink experiences for many years to come. Until that time we welcome your continued support and thank those that have renewed or purchased a membership, bought a voucher or generously donated to us. It means a great deal that you have sent positive messages, continued to engage with us on social media and have been patient with us as we get to grips with the impact.
RE: pre-booked tickets
We’ve had a number of enquiries over the past week about pre-booked tickets and what customers should do in regards of obtaining refunds for screenings that have been cancelled. We’re hoping to reopen again as soon as it is safe to do so and also reschedule any films, courses and events, so any transactions will be honoured if rescheduled and we’re able to show.
However, If you’d like a full or partial refund instead we ask that you please bear in mind that since the lockdown announced by the government on 23rd March the whole of Broadway is closed and we cannot action refunds remotely. If you’re happy to wait a few weeks until we’re next in the building performing essential maintenance before we process your refund, we would be hugely appreciative. Please contact email@example.com, send on your telephone number and we will call you to go through the process at that point.
We hope all our customers are keeping safe and well.
We'll be back.
The Broadway Team
UPDATE TUESDAY 24 MARCH
Since we made the decision to close our doors until further notice on Tuesday 17 March, the outpouring of love and support for Broadway has been humbling for us all and we thank you from the bottom of our popcorn boxes for the kind words – they’ve kept us going whilst we’ve dealt with the fallout.
Importantly, we wanted to let you know that Broadway employees continue to be supported financially and that – thankfully - the job retention scheme announced by the government reaffirms that decision.
A number of customers have asked how they can keep supporting us during this time so we encourage you to donate via CAF online, purchase a Broadway membership or even buy a voucher so you’re ready for when we’re back open and screening the best in independent cinema again.
If you don’t already, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook where we will continue to post bits and pieces from the Broadway archives, blogs, articles and GIFs that may communicate anything we’re struggling to say within a 280 character limit.
We can’t wait to open our doors again and welcome you back to the best independent film experience in Nottingham. Until that time, we hope that you’re keeping healthy, safe and managing to indulge in a few films you may have missed the first time around.
We’ll be back.
UPDATE FRIDAY 20 MARCH
Following our decision to close Broadway to the public on Tuesday 17 March we have assured all our 75 members of staff working across our cinema, arts, talent support and café bar operations that we will do everything we can to ensure they won't be financially impacted.
Salaried staff will continue to be paid as normal and those staff working on hourly-paid contracts will benefit from being paid based on their average earnings over the last 12 weeks rather than just their minimum contractual hours.
We really value the contribution our staff make to Broadway, understand the pressures they will be experiencing now and want to ensure fairness for all, but as a business and as a charity we may need to make sensible, commercial decisions to ensure Broadway is kept financially stable if the situation continues for an extended period of time - hopefully, this won't be the case.
To that end, our key stakeholders, the British Film Institute and Arts Council England are being very understanding but crucially we are currently waiting to learn more about the direct financial support that the Government has promised businesses like our to ensure we can offer continuity of employment for the full period of this crisis for all our staff.
During this time we have appreciated the messages of support from our customers, the kind donations we have received and the new members that have signed up - it has meant the world to us to hear from you.
We’ll be back…
The Broadway Team
UPDATE TUESDAY 17 MARCH
Unfortunately, due to the continuing development of the Coronavirus situation, we have made the decision to close Broadway from 6pm this evening (Tuesday 17 March) until further notice. This is in the interests of the health and wellbeing of both our customers and our staff.
Please be assured that all ticket holders for cancelled events have options on refunds and can contact firstname.lastname@example.org, however by not requesting a refund you would be making an exceptionally generous and much appreciated charitable donation to Broadway during these unprecedented times.
Customers who have booked in advance with cash, please contact email@example.com to make similar arrangements.
We thank you for your patience and your continued support for Broadway during this unprecedented time. We hope to come back to you with a reopen date shortly.
You can keep up to date with developments at broadway.org.uk/coronavirus
We’ll be back…
The Broadway Team
UPDATE MONDAY 16 MARCH
With the wellbeing and comfort of our customers in mind, we have decided today to restrict ticket sales in order to ensure a good distance between patrons watching films. Please note that both the cinema and Cafébar remain open and this will be the case until we hear differently from Public Health England and the UK Government. Tickets are still on sale here and your ticket can be scanned by ushers at the screen itself with minimal contact.
Thank you for your continued support.
The Broadway Team.
UPDATE FRIDAY 13 MARCH
In light of the continuing development of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) spread in the UK, we wanted to provide you with an update on our plans here at Broadway - we are currently open as usual until advised otherwise by the UK Government and Public Health England, but we continue to follow guidance closely as this is a developing situation. If there are any new developments or changes to scheduled screenings, we’ll update our website and share any changes via our social media channels.
Broadway customers can rest assured that we are continuing to take the necessary steps to reduce any risks to customer health and wellbeing within our building at all times. These steps include undertaking extra cleaning of high contact areas such as handrails; reiterating to staff the importance of washing their hands thoroughly and frequently; having antibacterial gel available in the Cafébar, Box Office and usherpoints; and continuing to follow closely any guidance from Public Health England and the UK Government.
You can help us maintain this standard too by observing these extra hygiene measures, and also by purchasing tickets online. You can then have your ticket scanned by ushers at the screen itself with minimal contact.
Unfortunately, the past couple of weeks has seen a number of films we had planned to screen in the later part of March and April being delayed until later on in the year or into 2021. Because of this we have taken the decision to not print a programme brochure in April as release dates are constantly changing. Obviously this is unfortunate but we wanted to reassure customers that we’re still screening the best in cinema from across the world, and that our Programming team are working hard to find replacement films that we can bring into the schedules.
Our weekly newsletter will still be sent out on a Tuesday via email and you can keep checking broadway.org.uk for up-to-date information 24/7.
Ultimately, your safety, wellbeing and comfort during your time at Broadway is our number one concern; we are still open and, until we are advised otherwise by the authorities, this continues to be the case.
Stay safe and we’ll see you here soon.
The Broadway Team