Majority Of UK Cinemas To Close Until Further Notice

Odeon Cinema

by James White |
Published on

With the release dates for movies big and small being postponed thanks to the current Corona-crisis and social distancing becoming more necessary than ever, it was surely only a matter of time before cinemas closed. And the many main chains have announced that they are shutting down venues in the next day or so until further notice.

Odeon, Curzon, Cineworld (plus is boutique arm Picturehouse), Showcase, Vue and Everyman are all shuttering their locations in the UK and Ireland for an indefinite period. "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," said Cineworld in a statement.

Elsewhere, decisions are still being made by independents: BFI Southbank will close alongside Home in Manchester, the Watershed in Bristol and Glasgow Film Theatre will close. And, as audience numbers dwindle because of the need to avoid contact, we can expect other indie venues to close down. Some, including the Lonsdale Alhambra in Penrith, are aiming to stay open as long as possible to keep staff employed and to give people a chance to escape the news. New capacity rules and cleaning routines are in place, but how long that open door policy lasts remains to be seen.

The closures follow cinemas in other parts of the world, plus theatres and various venues on the latest advice from the government and public health officials. We can expect closures of at least two weeks and likely longer.

Some distributors have already begun finding new outlets for their films, or moving up plans for home entertainment releases. These are tricky times – stay healthy, folks. And here are some ideas as to what to watch at home.

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