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empty seats Cinema boss says movie-goers can 'buy extra ticket' if they want to keep distancing

The one metre rule will be removed tomorrow

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Michael McAdam, owner of Movie House Cinemas

Michael McAdam, owner of Movie House Cinemas

Michael McAdam, owner of Movie House Cinemas

A Belfast cinema owner has suggested viewers should purchase an extra ticket in order to ensure social distancing from others when watching a movie.

While Michael McAdam, who owns Movie House Cinemas, said he agrees the purchase of an extra ticket would be more “costly” for customers, he said it would ensure there was a space between them and the next customer.

He said the one metre social distancing rule has had a significant impact on cinemas, leading to a drop in footfall.

Speaking to the BBC he said those who wish to remain distanced from fellow movie-goers when the rule is relaxed can continue to distance by buying an extra ticket.

He explained: "We will aim when you go to the box office to ensure that we keep at least a seat beside you free.

"If you are booking online, we can't guarantee that because we can't control that.

He added: "But people have a choice. It may be a bit more costly, but they can book the seat either side of them if they want to ensure there will be nobody sitting beside them.

"We will endeavour, even though there is no legal requirement to keep a space between you and the person beside you, but we are working with technology that there is only so much we can do."

Stormont has decided to remove the one-metre social distancing rule for shops, cinemas and indoor venues, which will come into effect tomorrow.

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