The venue was forced to close in March as the coronvirus outbreak worsened in the UK.
The pandemic has had a huge impact on the theatre industry, with most of the autumn’s touring dance, theatre and music productions already cancelled or transferred to 2021.
But a Government pilot scheme will enable theatres to plan successful social-distancing measures which have been tried and tested on selected audiences.
However Jo Potts, the Playhouse’s manager, said there is no ‘one size fits all’ in terms of social distancing for a theatre, with a lot depending on the physical layout of buildings, such as how wide and how many entrances, exits, staircases and toilets it has.
“It is good news that the Government is planning to test social-distancing on theatres through pilot projects, we shall learn from the outcomes and welcome this as a move in the right direction,” she said.
“Currently there is a phased reopening of cinemas across the UK and it is evident that social distancing is easier to implement for the larger purpose built, multi-screen cinemas than the smaller independent cinemas.
"The Playhouse has one cinema screen and falls into the category of a small independent cinema tentatively planning a November film programme.”
Cinemas which have reopened their doors in the hope of gaining back customers for the summer saw a huge setback when the film which was the focal point of an industry restart, Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, was delayed by Warner Bros.
And Disney’s Mulan has been taken out of the release calendar altogether.
Jo said: “Cinemas need these big titles to gain back audiences but the delays are totally understandable as the safety of audiences must come first. It proves a more cautious approach to opening later in the year is a sensible option and our audiences will not miss out on new titles.”
The Playhouse Gallery moved its exhibition programme online in March. Work can now be browsed through the website.