Almost a quarter of Vue’s UK cinemas will close for three days a week following postponements of the upcoming James Bond film and other blockbusters.
Twenty-one of the chain’s 87 sites will be closed Tuesday through Thursday.
This move is necessary “to ensure that our company is financially well positioned to withstand the uncertainty ahead,” a spokesperson said.
British cinema admissions in 2020 are said to be the lowest since recordings began almost a century ago.
The Guardian reported on Monday that box office revenue is expected to fall by more than £ 900million from 2019.
Vue’s announcement follows the temporary closure of 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theaters, and Odeon’s decision to open 30 of its 120 locations from Friday to Sunday only.
This all follows the postponement of James Bond’s No Time To Die, one of the most anticipated upcoming releases, from November to April 2021. It had already been pushed back from April 2020.
There have also been delays in other big movies like Dune and Black Widow. Last week, Disney announced that its Soul animation, which features the voice of Jamie Foxx, will air on its Disney + streaming service instead of hitting theaters in late November as scheduled.
Vue chief executive Tim Richards recently warned of the impact of major releases like Bond fading from the calendar on the big screen.
“Our problem right now is that we don’t have films. It was a big blow to us,” he said last week.
“We’re probably going to get there. I’m concerned about the independents and small regional operators right now that are really going to have a hard time, and when they close they may not reopen.”
The Part-Time Views include its flagship cinema in Leicester Square in London, as well as four more in the capital and sites such as Cardiff, Newbury, Rhyl and Birkenhead.
A spokesperson said: “We remain committed to securing a long-term future for Vue, protecting the livelihoods of our staff and keeping our doors open to ensure our cinemas continue to serve the communities in which they operate. . “
They added that “our belief in the future of this industry is unshakeable” and “we look forward to getting back to full swing as soon as Hollywood studios start releasing the content the public is asking for.”
Other chains, including Showcase and Everyman, have said they will remain open.
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