Regularly voted one of London’s favourite cinemas, SE15’s beloved Peckhamplex is basically a temple for film fans in south-east London. But in common with many London indie cinemas, it’s struggling in the face of small audiences and the absence of big Hollywood movies to entice them back. As a result, it’s temporarily closing again from Friday, September 25.
‘We looked at returns since reopened with “Tenet” in August,’ explains Peckhamplex chairman John Reiss, ‘and while “Tenet” opened well, the cinema soon became loss-making with every performance.’
‘‘We want to preserve our cash reserves so we can protect 40-plus jobs and stay viable when films come back.’
Some good news for plex-ers, though: the plan is to reopen in time for ‘No Time to Die’. The new Bond movie is scheduled for release in the UK on November 12.
Beyond 007 and a few worthy indie films, the release schedule offers moviegoers slim pickings. With the cinema release of ‘Mulan’ abandoned in favour of a direct-to-VOD approach and Disney also postponing the release dates of ‘West Side Story’, ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Death on the Nile’, cinemas have been left scratching around for major new movies to draw back the crowds.
‘I think the studios are being short-sighted,’ says Reiss. ‘By holding too much back they may be killing independent cinemas permanently. To break the logjam, they need to release some major movies, get audiences back and make an investment in the future.’
Keep an eye out for more on Peckhamplex’s reopening plans via the cinema’s e-newsletter – which you can subscribe to here.
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