Your local Picturehouse – or Cineworld – is shuttering up again on Thursday. The Ritzy, Picturehouse Central and London’s other Picturehouses, along with its eight Cineworld multiplexes, will be closing for an unspecified period as the UK’s cinemas absorb the devastating postponement of the new James Bond film ‘No Time to Die’.
The news, which leaked in yesterday’s Sunday Times, could mean the loss of up to 45,000 jobs in the UK and US. Cineworld owns 536 Regal cinemas in America and they will also be closing. There’s no word yet on what this means for staff at the cinema chain, or for how long Cineworld plans to stay closed.
A supply of new Hollywood movies will be a key driver for that decision, says Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger: ‘Cineworld 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.’
The decision to push back the release date of ‘No Time to Die’ again – it’s now due out in April 2021 – has left cinemas with few big movies to entice back audiences with until December, when ‘Dune’ and ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ are (currently) scheduled for release.
It’s worth remembering that London’s newly socially distanced cinemas – big and small – have already endured four or more months without any revenue at all, and are now faced with an indeterminate period with no Hollywood movies. How long can they survive?
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