Leading UK cinema chains shutdown due to coronavirus

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Leading UK cinema chains including Odeon, Vue, Cineworld and Picturehouse have reacted to the coronavirus pandemic by shutting their front doors.

It was on Monday that Prime Minister, Boris Johnson advised members of the public to avoid social gatherings. UK theatres including London’s West End was first to announce closure in response to the global virus.

BBC News reports that Odeon has more than 120 cinemas in the UK and Ireland, while Vue has 91, Cineworld has 100, and also runs 24 Picturehouse sites. The BFI’s Southbank complex has also been shut.

Cinema UK told BBC News, “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.”

An Odeon spokesperson said, “In line with the latest government guidance on Covid-19, we are temporarily closing our cinemas.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and look forward to welcoming back guests as soon possible.”

Cineworld Group chief executive Mooky Greidinger added, “At Cineworld and Picturehouse we are committed to providing safe and healthy environments for our employees and guests and have therefore made the difficult decision to close our cinemas in UK and Ireland until further notice.

“We deeply value our cinema-loving customers and have no doubt we will be serving everyone again as soon as possible with a full slate of Hollywood blockbusters and the best of independent films and content.”

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