multi coloured heart

Going forward with care – some changes at Watershed

Posted on Tue 20 July 2021

Following the final stage of easing lockdown restrictions on Mon 19 July, we wanted to let you know what this means for Watershed and the changes we’re making.

We have approached these decisions with the greatest of care, prioritising the access and inclusion of our staff, our customers and our audiences.

We know people and businesses are going to be moving at different speeds as we all approach this new period of adjustment and we’ll continue listening to your feedback and updating you regularly.

The following are the decisions we have made as a result of the announcement

  • Face coverings
    There will be no change here – we will continue to require everyone to wear a face covering whilst in the cinemas and moving around the building. As before, we ask everyone to be mindful that some people are unable to wear a face covering, and the reasons for that might not be immediately apparent.
  • Cinema capacity
    From Wed 28 July we will increase the capacity in our cinemas from 25% to 50%. This means our booking system will continue to automatically ensure there is a minimum of 2 seats (1.5 metres) between you and other customers on your row – the difference is that all rows in each cinema will be partly occupied. These extra seats for screenings from Wed 28 July will go on sale from Mon 19 July. For now we will continue with group cinema bookings being a maximum of six people.
  • Café & Bar capacity and changes to service
    From Wed 21 July we will increase the capacity in our Café & Bar. There won’t be a member of staff to welcome you to your table – just find a spot yourself. You will no longer be able to book a table online, but you can still reserve a table by emailing the Café & Bar team. To limit the amount of movement around the space table service will continue using the ordering system currently in place.
  • Introducing some Relaxed/Socially Distanced Screenings
    We know many of our audiences, particularly those who are clinically vulnerable, will feel more comfortable with less people in the cinema screens. We will explore the introduction of some relaxed and/or socially distanced screenings with 25% capacity, to go alongside the 50% capacity screenings.
  • Safety measures
    We will continue with the safety measures we have in place, including our increased and enhanced cleaning regime, provision of hand sanitiser throughout the building, maintaining our air flow management plans to ensure adequate ventilation throughout, staff wearing face coverings and following social distancing guidelines, perspex screens at the desks and bar, and keeping contactless payments. If you would like to check in via NHS Test and Trace please feel free to do so, although it will no longer be required to enter the building.

Changes to our opening times

  • The Watershed building will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays up to and including Tue 17 Aug.
  • Cinema screenings will continue to run five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday.

How are you feeling?

Let us know how you feel. Do you want to share any thoughts with us? Email us at and we will get back to you.

If you have cinema tickets booked with us from Wed 28 July and are uncomfortable with these changes for any reason at all, we are happy to refund you. Please get in touch with our Box Office team at or on 0117 927 5100. The telephone lines are open Wed – Sun from 12:00 until 15 minutes after the last film starts.

Thank you again for all of your support during this time – our staff, customers and audiences have all been amazing. We’re looking forward to the months ahead.

With love from Louise and the rest of the Watershed team.

Louise Gardner
Head of Communications