In some devastating news for the cinema industry – and the thousands of staff impacted by the decision – it is being reported that Cineworld will be closing 128 of its cinemas in the UK and Ireland this coming week, along with its Regal chain of cinemas in the United States, until next year.
As reported by The Sunday Times, Cineworld bosses are said to have made the decision following the news that MGM has pushed back the release of the next James Bond film No Time To Die to Easter 2021. This has left the industry “unviable”, with the majority of tentpole releases having been pushed into next year due to the ongoing global health crisis.
Cineworld and the rest of UK cinemas were forced to close their doors in March as the country went into lockdown, but began to reopen in July, hoping that Christopher Nolan’s Tenet would prove enticing enough for audiences to return to multiplexes. Unfortunately, that didn’t prove to be the case, and with the Warner Bros. release underperforming, rival studios moved quickly to delay a number of high profile releases which had remained on the 2020 calendar.
According to the Twitter account Cineworld Action Group – a group ran by employees of the cinema chain – “Cineworld is planning to close all of its cinemas across the country as soon as this week putting all of our jobs at immediate risk. There has been no consultation with staff whatsoever.”
Our thoughts are with all of the staff facing redundancy as a result of Cineworld’s decision.