CINEMA chain Odeon has confirmed it will reopen the vast majority of its screens in the UK on May 17.

This will be the first day that cinemas can be open again as Step 3 of the roadmap out of lockdown comes into force, allowing indoor gatherings and entertainment venues to reopen.

Odeon has a 13 screen site at Gallagher Leisure Park, Thornbury, and also has cinemas in Huddersfield and Colton, Leeds.

Screenings will include the new James Bond film No Time To Die, which has been delayed on numerous occasions due to the lockdown; Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway and the latest instalment of the long-running Fast & Furious franchise.

However, bosses will introduce strict social distancing measures and screens will be unable to be at full capacity to begin with.

Screenings will be limited, including empty seats between groups of guests and staggered start times to reduce queues in foyers.

Customers will also be encouraged to book tickets online and order pre-packaged food and drink, while cash payments will no longer be allowed.

Hand sanitiser and gels will be available throughout the cinemas and each screen will undergo more rigorous cleaning between shows, the company added.

Cinema-goers will also have to wear a face covering although they will be allowed to remove them to eat or drink snacks, and masks will not be needed when sat in Odeon’s Costa outlets.

Odeon said recent research from MetrixLab suggests strong pent-up demand for cinema in the UK, with a recent survey showing 59 per cent of people say cinema is one of the activities they miss the most – the highest level during the entire pandemic.