Cinema-goers will be returning to Dorchester Plaza today for a different kind of film watching experience.

The popular county town cinema now has socially distanced seating to conform with Government guidelines and seats have been grouped into pre-allocated 'blocks'.

Tickets are being sold in groups of single, two, three or four seats with each 'block' socially distanced from the others.

Film starting times have been staggered and there is a one way system and hand sanitising stations around the cinema.

Plaza manager Alan Escott said the cinema really depends on its loyal customers coming back and that these are 'unprecedented times'.

He said: "Like every business we are going through unprecedented times. This is the toughest challenge the cinema industry has faced in its history.

"Getting people back to cinemas will be key over the coming months."

Films showing at the Plaza in the coming week include releases such as Misbehaviour, Onward and Sonic the Hedgehog - which came out just before the coronavirus crisis forced the closure of auditoriums across the country.

There are, however, some new releases for film fans to soak up. Australian thriller Black Water: Abyss, a new release, is showing at the Plaza.

The film is one of the very first new releases making its debut in UK cinemas since they shut their doors. It's about a group of explorers who unexpectedly fight for survival after they are confronted by a group of hungry crocodiles. It's already proving popular with just a few single seats left for the screening tonight (Fri) in screen one at 7.30pm.

Love Sarah starring Celia Imrie and Trolls World Tour, previously available to stream home release only, are also new to the big screen.

Because the cinema is selling fewer seats for each screening and is unable to accept charitable donations it is encouraging those who wish to support the Plaza further to buy snacks and drinks for the films.

If you wish to catch a film in Weymouth you'll have to wait a bit longer. Cineworld has pushed back its opening date to July 31 citing a lack of new releases.

Dorchester Odeon manager Holly Royle says the cinema will confirm a re-opening date soon.