Northampton theatres dealt another blow as entertainment industry prepares to shut down once again

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After suffering for months during the first lockdown, another one is devastating for the local theatres

As a second national lockdown looms, both of Northampton’s theatres have been left ‘disappointed’ by the guidelines telling the entertainment industry to shut down once again.

The Filmhouse, connected to the Royal & Derngate was due to reopen for the first time this month since the first lockdown and The Deco had socially distanced shows planned for November.

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However, following the Prime Minister's announcement on Saturday (October 31), the entertainment industry, including theatres, cinemas, museums and casinos, along with a number of other industries, will have to close by Thursday (November 5) until December 2.

The Royal & Derngate will remain closed and The Deco will close again due to a second lockdown.The Royal & Derngate will remain closed and The Deco will close again due to a second lockdown.
The Royal & Derngate will remain closed and The Deco will close again due to a second lockdown.

After the Derngate’s recent ‘relief’ of being granted more than £1 million to keep afloat, the associated cinema will now have to postpone its grand reopening until at least December.

Royal & Derngate chief executive, Jo Gordon, said: “The Government’s announcement this weekend means Northampton Filmhouse can’t reopen on Friday 13 November as planned.

“While it is disappointing that we need to remain closed for now, we understand it’s a necessity and look forward to reopening when it is safe to do so.

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“We’ll be contacting all impacted bookers today and would like to thank everyone who showed such enthusiasm and support for our return.

The Filmhouse now cannot open this month. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds.The Filmhouse now cannot open this month. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds.
The Filmhouse now cannot open this month. Photo: Kirsty Edmonds.

“We may have to wait a while longer before we can enjoy films on the big screen once again, but we’re excited to welcome everyone back as soon as we can.”

At The Deco in Abington Square, bosses are keen to make sure December - specifically the planned pantomime - can still go ahead.

A spokesman for the theatre said: “We’re frustrated. We reopened in September and we did everything we had to do.

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“The good will of the local people has been fantastic and shows have been well supported.

“We’ve provided people with a sense of fun and entertainment again, but then this happens.

“All the shows in November have been postponed and will be rescheduled for early in the New Year, hopefully the earlier the better, but that is a work in progress.

“As far as we are concerned the panto goes on.

“Nobody knows and we will be devastated if the lockdown goes on for longer than a month as the panto has been really popular.

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“We want to get it on so people can turn up and have some fun. Christmas is not cancelled at The Deco.

“We will keep our fingers crossed that normal service can be resumed in the New Year, but we do understand that people’s wellbeing is the most important thing.”

Any tickets booked for showings at the Filmhouse or shows at The Deco will be eligible for when the films or shows are rescheduled, or a refund can be given.

The leisure industry, non-essential shops, hospitality and personal care businesses will also have to close by Thursday.

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