Courts Service were offered option of using cinemas for juries to view trials on silver screen

The Courts Service were approached by a major cinema chain about the possibility of screening criminal trials to jurors on the silver screen.

Odeon Cinemas made contact with courts management about the possibility of having jurors socially distanced in large cinema theatres while watching and listening to evidence from a separate court room.

According to internal records, a similar plan had been put to use in Scotland as a variety of options were being explored on how to safely run trials during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A spokesman said the cinema proposal had been ruled out as it was not considered a “practical or cost-effective” solution for holding trials.

An internal note had said this “hybrid” option for trials would see the jury watch proceedings live on a cinema screen, which would be securely broadcast from a court room in another building.

It said: “The jury is based in the cinema for the duration of the trial and watches proceedings on the big screen. The cinema is closed to the public during the day while the courts are sitting.”