Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s advice in his daily coronavirus briefing, the British public have been asked to avoid public venues. In response, some of the UK’s biggest cinema chains have announced their indefinite closure because of the pandemic. These include Odeon, Cineworld and Picturehouse, with Vue expected to follow suit.
Odeon tweeted: “Following government guidelines ODEON cinemas are closed until further notice.
“If you have pre-booked tickets online, these will be refunded automatically.
“For any specific questions, please contact our Guest Services Centre.
“We look forward to welcoming you back soon.”
- Cineworld cinemas say it could SHUT DOWN due to coronavirus
Odeon also confirmed they will be pausing their Limitless memberships, having emailed those customers.
They wrote: “We will be pausing Limitless membership payments until we reopen.
“As this can take-up to 48 hours, if your next payment does go through, you will be refunded for this automatically.”
Odeon has over 120 cinemas across the UK and Ireland.
Meanwhile, Cineworld’s 100 locations and their subsidiary chain Picturehouse, which has 24, will close on Wednesday.
What is happening for Cineworld Unlimited members is unknown currently.
But some of those customers and Odeon Limitless members are saying on social media that they want to keep paying so the staff get paid and so that the chains don’t risk going out of business.
After all, Cineworld has said it might be facing this after its stocks and shares have plummeted dramatically.
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According to the Financial Times, the cinema chain has said it could struggle to pay its debts as coronavirus may well cost Cineworld three months revenue.
This, in turn, would “indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt about the group’s ability to continue as a going concern.”
Mooky Greidinger, Cineworld chief executive, added: “Should conditions relating to Covid-19 continue or worsen, we have measures at our disposal to reduce the impact on our business including, but not limited to, capex postponement, cost reduction, in order to maintain cash liquidity.
“However we have highlighted the potential impact this could have on the group within our growing concern statement.”
Cinema UK, which represents the movie theatre industry said that most UK cinemas sites will close in the coming days.
They added: “The priority now is to ensure that thousands working in the sector are helped during an exceptionally challenging period for them.
“And that UK cinema venues are supported during what, for many, represents an unprecedented challenge to their existence.”
It looks like streaming services are going to be the focus of film watching for the coming weeks and months.
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