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It’s a ‘right royal bash’ for Rich Mix reopening in Bethnal Green after 6-month lockdown

PUBLISHED: 10:00 06 September 2020

MP Rushanara Ali (left) arrives for Rich Mix reopening met by chief executive Judith Kilvington. Picture: Rich Mix

MP Rushanara Ali (left) arrives for Rich Mix reopening met by chief executive Judith Kilvington. Picture: Rich Mix

Rich Mix

MP Rushanara Ali got a right royal red carpet tour of the East End’s famous Rich Mix arts centre when it reopened after six months in lockdown.

Even the MP has to use the sanitise dispenser entering Rich Mix arts centre. Picture: Rich MixEven the MP has to use the sanitise dispenser entering Rich Mix arts centre. Picture: Rich Mix

She was shown round the centre in Bethnal Green by its chief executive Judith Kilvington who introduced her to the team that’s been working behind the scenes to get the place safe to reopen to the public.

The Bethnal Green and Bow MP saw the new safety measures including temperature checks and new cinema with its “social distance” screenings.

The cinema is a “repurpose” of the live performance stage which is currently not functioning because of the Covid crisis.

Getting Rich Mix ready to reopen after six months of lockdown. Picture: Rich MixGetting Rich Mix ready to reopen after six months of lockdown. Picture: Rich Mix

The stage is closed for live performances, the MP was told, but the adjoining bar area has been revamped with social-distance tables and seating.

Rushanara stressed the importance of Rich Mix and the arts “to boost morale in the community after a difficult time”.

Judith also showed her the mural at the back of the centre created by artist Camille Walala as part of London Mural Festival.

Rushanara meeting arts centre staff at a Rushanara meeting arts centre staff at a "safe social distance". Picture: Rich Mix

It had just been completed on Friday in time for the centre’s debut reopening in the evening.

One of the arts centre’s first events was a walkabout tour around Brick Lane looking for “the shadows of people from the past”.

Tamasha artist Afsana Begum and her Rightful Place community theatre are holding We Are Shadows street tours starting from the square opposite Rich Mix, runniong till October 2.

Splash of colour for the London Mural Festival... daubed onto Rich Mix for its reopening after six months of lockdown. Picture: Rich MixSplash of colour for the London Mural Festival... daubed onto Rich Mix for its reopening after six months of lockdown. Picture: Rich Mix

“This real Brick Lane has history,” Afsana says.

“Discover beyond the curry house strip the people who have cast their shadows on these pavements in the past.”

The one-hour tour on foot begins with a phone call on your smart phone and can be booked online.

The Rich Mix cinema has two screenings a day, blockbuster movies and independent films, with “socially distance” auditorium seating.

Public safety measures have been brought in along with discounts for NHS workers who get 10 per cent off and Tower Hamlets residents who get £6 tickets every Tuesday and Wednesday.


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