Hello cinema lovers,

When we reopened our doors three million years ago way back in mid-October, the rush for tickets to our own programme and the BFI London Film Festival took the entire team by surprise. We’d hoped there would be an appetite to return, but we didn’t think  we’d have performances selling out before we even had a chance to tell everyone they were happening!

It was a wonderful feeling, but it also highlighted an issue which many of you also noticed; the number of seats available for each screening fluctuated greatly depending on the seat choices by those in attendance.

What does this mean? 

Sadly, that the majority of our SOLD OUT shows we were actually operating at a far lower capacity than we’d hoped.  

Our 300 seater auditorium saw sold-out shows range from 63 to 77 sales, with our 104 seater screen reaching between 21 to 28 for a sell out.  Not only did this mean that many of you missed out on tickets, but also that it was going to be a lot tougher for us to meet our main objective; to retain all staff and instil as much confidence as we can in the team that we all have a future here at the cinema.

To try to address this our challenge was to figure out how we can adjust our seating plan in a way that retains, without question our confidence, that we’re offering you the safest cinema-going environment we can whilst opening up as many seats as possible.  

Our first step was to analyse the sales patterns for shows through the year to see how many single, double, triple+ bookings take place and where those bookings tend to sit.

We’ve taken these findings and spent some time looking at the socially distanced seating approach that other cinemas around the country had in place to see if there was another way to operate which we felt covers all the required bases, and we think we’ve cracked it!

For all performances due to take place when we reopen, we’ll be updating the seating plan in both screens to a new format that will only offer assigned single and paired seats scattered throughout the screen [and even a couple of triple seats in the downstairs screen]. 

The seats will continue to be socially distanced with nobody directly in front or behind you with at least 3 seats either side in your row left empty.

We haven’t made this decision lightly. The team will now have to manually reallocate all previously booked seats for every performance in the coming weeks. You may notice certain performances on the website are closed for booking and this is due to this process. They will return on sale as soon as reallocations are completed. Not a fun job, but a necessary one, and as we work our way through this process your patience will be highly appreciated.

We understand this change might be frustrating for those of you who have already booked or had planned to attend with a larger group, but, for now, we hope it won’t spoil your night at the movies too much to split into smaller groups within the cinema.

By supporting this change we’ll be able to offer more seats to all shows – 95 in our downstairs screen and 32 upstairs - whilst retaining our current level of safe in-screen social distancing. All this helps ensure the entire team who have been a huge part of our past, can continue to be here for our present and future. Simply put, a win-win-win!

If you have booked a ticket for a performance, we will contact you with your updated seating information within the next 14 days [that's if your seat has been moved].

Should you be unhappy with the changes made to your booking, refunds / exchanges will of course be made available to you.  For further questions regarding this, please get in touch with our Box Office Team at!

Again, thank you all so much for being by our side through this – the return of our audience has been a heart-bursting level of goodness for the team, and we’re thankful to every single one of you!

Be excellent to each other.

The Prince Charles Cinema