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Back to the big screen! National Science and Media Museum sets cinema reopening dates

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford has announced that it will be reopening its cinemas to the public this autumn.

The museum and its Pictureville Cinema have been closed to the public since March as a result of Covid-19. It has now been announced that the cinemas will have a phased reopening starting with the Pictureville screen on Thursday 17 September, followed by the IMAX and Cubby Broccoli screens on Friday 2 October.

The safety of visitors and staff is the top priority and a number of measures will be in place to ensure a safe visit, including asking customers to book tickets in advance, socially distanced seating arrangements, hand sanitiser stations at key points such as entrances and exits, and enhanced cleaning of the theatres between screenings.

Kathryn Penny, Head of Screen Operation, said:

“We are thrilled to be reopening Pictureville Cinema after all this time. The past months have been incredibly challenging for the museum and our cinema operation, as has been the case across the sector. We hope that audiences are as excited as we are to get back up and running and we have an excellent programme of events lined up to mark the occasion, including performances in partnership with the Yorkshire Film Archive and the return of Widescreen Weekend later this autumn. We also want to reassure our visitors that theirs and our staffs safety is our top priority and we are taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure that their trip to the museum and our cinemas is safe and hygienic.”

To celebrate the reopening of Pictureville there will be special performances of Bradford on Film on the 17 September at 16:00 and 19:00. Following 2019’s sell-out screenings to mark the centenary of Bradford Cathedral, the performances will delve into the Yorkshire Film Archive to explore the city’s vibrant and rich history on screen over the last 120 years. Tickets for the performances are yet to be released but will be available via the website soon.

The museum’s popular Widescreen Weekend festival will also be returning from the 9– 11 October 2020. The unique festival celebrates large-screen formats and cinema technologies from the past, present and future of film. This year’s festival will follow a one-off condensed format to ensure the safety of visitors and staff to the museum and cinemas. The public can subscribe to the Widescreen Weekend newsletter to be the first to hear about programme announcements and tickets going on sale.

While Pictureville Cinema remains closed, the public can continue to support it by purchasing a Pictureville membership. Those who sign up will become a member right away, but their 12-month period will not begin until the museum reopens. This means that members will still get a whole year of amazing membership benefits.

The museum announced last week that it will be reopening the majority of its galleries, alongside the café and shop from Wednesday 19 August. This will be a phased reopening with reduced hours of 10:00 – 16:00, Wednesday to Sunday. Tickets to visit the museum will be available to pre-book via its  website from Wednesday 5 August.

For more information about the reopening of the National Science and Media Museum and Pictureville Cinema, visit:


For further information, images or interview requests, please contact: Katie Canning, National Science and Media Museum 01274 203027.

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened in 1983, and has since become one of the most visited UK museums outside LondonThe Museum explores the science and culture of image and sound technologies, creating special exhibitions, interactive galleries and activities for families and adults. It is home to three cinemas, including Europe’s first IMAX cinema screen and the world’s only public Cinerama screen outside the USA. Entry to the Museum is free.