October 05, 2020
Cinema chain Cineworld has confirmed plans to temporarily close its sites in both the UK and the US after big studios started to delay their major film releases until the Coronavirus pandemic eases.
Cineworld To Temporarily Close UK Cinemas, Putting 5,500 Jobs At Risk
The decision will affect around 45,000 employees in the two countries – Cineworld’s two main markets.
It will shut 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theatres in the UK from this Thursday, and 536 Regal theatres in the US.
On Sunday a Cineworld staff member, who did not want to be named, said they feel “betrayed”.
They told the PA news agency: “None of us have been told a single thing yet, so me and my work colleagues are sort of in panic mode right now, wondering what’s going to happen to our jobs, especially this close to Christmas.”
On Friday, the studio behind the forthcoming James Bond release No Time To Die, confirmed the film would be pushed back again.
Union Bectu, which represents staff in the cinema sector, urged filmmakers to think “carefully” about the impact delayed releases could have on the industry and said: “The delay in the release of the Bond film, along with the other delayed releases, has plunged cinema into crisis.”
Shares in Cineworld dropped 57% on Monday morning after the news was announced.Cineworld chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: “This is not a decision we made lightly, and we did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable reopenings in all of our markets – including meeting, and often exceeding, local health and safety guidelines in our theatres and working constructively with regulators and industry bodies to restore public confidence in our industry.
“We are especially grateful for and proud of the hard work our employees put in to adapt our theatres to the new protocols and cannot underscore enough how difficult this decision was. Cineworld will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations in these markets at the appropriate time, when key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and, in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen.”Related... Cineworld To Close All UK, US And Ireland Cinemas After Delay Of New James Bond Film
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