Borders theatre and cinema screenings called off due to coronavirus restrictions

The coronavirus pandemic spreading across Scotland has wreaked havoc on planned events in the region and beyond, with a spate of cancellations being announced this week.

By Kathryn Wylie
Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 4:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 4:49 pm
Becca Gray, Pavilion Cinema, Galashiels
Becca Gray, Pavilion Cinema, Galashiels

With concerns over mass gatherings and self-isolations continuing, many events, including annual traditions going back years, have fallen victim to the outbreak.

The region’s only multi-screen cinema, the Pavilion in Galahiels, has announced its temporary closure, with Peebles’ Eastgate Theatre cancelling all of its planned performances for the foreseeable future, just a day later.

Cinema manager Andrew Poole said: “It is with an enormous sense of deep regret that we have to announce the Pavilion Cinema will close as a result of the coronavirus.

“This decision has not been taken lightly and is a precaution to help protect the health and safety of our customers and staff.

“We would like to thank all our amazing customers for their support, particularly over the past few days, which have been the darkest and most difficult days of our 37 years of running cinemas.

“We would also like to thank our staff who have been extraordinarily supportive and understanding over this whole sorry situation.”

He stressed that it is only a temporary closure but admitted he has no reopening date in mind.

Another of the region’s larger entertainment venues, the Eastgate Theatre, has also cancelled performances with immediate effect but it is more optimistic that normal service will resume this spring.

A spokesman said: “We have taken the decision to cancel all live performances and screenings scheduled for March and April.

“Events planned for May and June have been taken off sale meantime and may also be cancelled in due course if this is necessary as a result of future Government advice.

“We expect to make decisions affecting this period before the middle of April.

“Some of the companies and artists who had events scheduled during this period are enquiring about possible alternative dates from autumn 2020 onwards, and these are being pencilled into the theatre’s forward plan.

“Any customers who have already purchased tickets for cancelled events are being offered credit notes.”

Imminent events including this weekend’sHawick Reivers’ Festival have also been called off, as well as rounds one and two of the Kings of the Sevens rugby contest at Galashiels and Melrose.