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Everything you need to know if you're going to Showcase during the pandemic

One of the last times I went to the Showcase Cinema in Peterborough was when I saw Joker. As you can expect, going last night, shortly after they reopened, it was a very different experience.
Showcase Cinema11
Showcase Cinema has welcomed customers back in again (photo: Carly Beech)

Joker made 1.074 billion US dollars at the box office, so as you can expect, when I went to the cinema in October, it was quite a different experience to when I went last night. 

In late 2019 the car park was heaving, every seat was full, and there were people making themselves feel so at home that they had brought in a full size pizza with them as they popped their legs up on the reclining chairs. 

Months ago, I'd go to the cinema prepared to see a brand new movie, yet this time, I was browsing and thinking to myself 'What am I going to watch?' 

Reading out all of the possibilities to my partner, I eye-rolled as he suggested Back To The Future, a film neither of us have ever seen – in my defence, I'm only 23! – over Harry Potter, my all time favourite. 

Sucking it up, I prepared to go and see the 1985 classic and we pulled into an almost empty car park with a mere 10 vehicles in sight and before walking inside to collect our tickets. 

As we entered, we were greeted at the door and asked what film we were seeing and the start time, once we told them, we were welcomed in to two hand sanitiser stations and a one-way system.

I have never seen the cinema so empty, movie times are massively scattered, with two maximum showings per film each day. They're currently running old films and classics, including Back to the Future, Harry Potter and the most recent Joker. 

Collecting our tickets, a perspex screen was in place to prevent any germ-spreading and you take your tickets off the machine yourself.

When you move over to collect snacks, there are again perspex screens but also an option to order your food and drink online and just collect them at the desk.

Showcase Cinema 2Online orders are available for food and drink (photo: Carly Beech)

However, it doesn't appear that a full range of their hot food is available – though nachos, hot dogs, popcorn and other easy snacks are still available, though you won't spot the pick 'n' mix in action. 

I would say I picked up my usual, but my dear Tango Ice Blast machine has sadly disappeared, and so instead I had a mixed flavour Vimto Ice Blast, with a large sweet popcorn and a plate of large nachos which, in hindsight, I did not need. 

When you're ready to go into the cinema, instead of handing your tickets to a person, machines are installed to scan the tickets to allow you inside. 

Seats are scattered, no cinema screen is overly full in a bid to keep on top of social distancing and when you leave, you're asked to go out of the exit doors in the cinema to enter the car park so you don't need to go back into the cinema. 

It was a great experience being back in the Showcase, but even more so given how empty it was. There was no 'Is this my cupholder or someone else's?' or 'Why are they talking so loudly?' going on and to be honest, I don't think I'd have ever watched Back To The Future if it wasn't on at the cinema. 

The only thing I can say now is, will they show Back To The Future 2?