It has undoubtedly been a difficult time for the cinema industry during 2020, and the move into the autumn has been no exception. Having been a real concern since the beginning of lockdown, we are now seeing the effects of a prolonged lack of funding and safety nets for the entertainment in such a “devastating year”.
October 2nd saw the news break that the 25th Bond movie No Time To Die would be delayed yet again, now releasing in April 2021, a year after its original release date. The chain Cineworld and its American counterpart Regal Cinemas had been eagerly anticipating the film in helping reignite cinema trips for customers. However, all 128 cinemas in the UK are to be closed until a later date, with a final decision not yet reached about their future-reopening.
We can confirm we are considering the temporary closure of our U.K. and US cinemas, but a final decision has not yet been reached. Once a decision has been made we will update all staff and customers as soon as we can.
— Cineworld Cinemas (@cineworld) October 4, 2020
Over 5500 jobs are at risk by the move, with many staff reportedly not knowing about the move until hearing about it from social media and the news.
If Cineworld is shutting and I’ve found out from TWITTER instead of our head office I am going to actually lose my shit.
— molly-mae (@mollymaecosplay) October 3, 2020
The news comes as yet another blow to the industry, and the news broke barely a few days after directors such as Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele in the US to say that the world of physical cinema risks extinction. Several cinema chains have said since June and even beforehand that they could go out of business after reports of record losses this financial year. Cineworld themselves have seen a loss of £1.3 Billion in the months to June 2020.
And it’s a trend we’ve seen in other aspects of the entertainment industry, with Southampton’s own Nuffield Theatres being placed into administration in July.
While many remain hopeful of the government preparing a care-package to salvage the industry, this blow for cinemas leaves an unhopeful air of uncertainty to the devastation that the coronavirus pandemic will continue to cause. Here’s hoping that something drastically changes in the coming months.