FILM lovers will be able to check out the latest releases on the silver screen next month, after an easing of lockdown measures has allowed movie theatres to reopen.

Alan Escott, general manager of the Plaza Cinema in Dorchester, said the news hasn't come too soon: "At the moment our plan is to schedule to open for July 10.

"We have been working hard while the cinema has been closed to make sure we can open safely. We have measures in place, we are reducing our food range and we have screens around the counters.

"We are still looking at various options around social distancing, we will be temperature checking our staff when they come into work and our customers. There will be hand sanitiser and wash stations and a one way system around the cinema.

"We have been waiting for this and working towards that date but it will be finally great to be back.

"It's going to be nice to see our regular customers back, I have been going in and out of the cinema and speaking to customers I have seen on the street but it's nice to get back serving."

A Cineworld spokesperson confirmed all UK branches, including the one in Weymouth would reopen on July 10. They said: "The health and wellbeing of our customers and employees is our top priority. We are following government guidelines in order to make cinemagoers feel as comfortable and safe as possible.

"This includes implementing measures such as: arranging cinemas in a manner that promotes and maintains social distancing, staggering film start and end times, setting up additional hand sanitising stations, undertaking an advanced cleaning programme and providing staff with Covid-19 specific training.

"We will ensure a safe and enjoyable cinematic experience for all our visitors and we remain committed to being the best place to watch a movie."

ODEON in Brewery Square will reopen on July 16 with robust measures in place.

Carol Welch, managing director for the UK and Ireland, said: "We are excited to confirm that from 4 July, our UK cinemas will begin reopening. We’ve carefully planned every step of our guest journey and put safety measures in place that will enable our highly trained colleagues to provide a controlled and safer cinema experience for all our guests.

"New measures include social distancing in our auditoriums and foyers, additional cleaning regimes, and a request to book tickets online prior to arrival. We would like to thank our colleagues and guests for their patience during this period, and we can’t wait to welcome guests back to big screen entertainment and a safer cinema experience."

The Dorchester branch is in the final wave of ODEON cinemas that will reopen.