Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people to go to the cinema after Cineworld announced worldwide theater closings.
The industry has been rocked by plans by James Bond studios MGM and Universal to delay the release of the latest franchise film, No Time To Die.
And Cineworld announced it will temporarily close the doors of 127 UK locations, slashing stocks by as much as 57 percent when markets open in London.
The chain, which employs around 5,500 people in the UK, said it had “done everything in its power to support safe and sustainable reopenings”.
Now Boris Johnson has urged people to go to the movies and keep companies alive during the pandemic.
On Monday the Prime Minister said, “Supporting local cinemas – I think we have already invested £ 30million but I would tell people that local cinemas now have options to continue their shows in a covid, safer way and I would people encourage them to go to the movies, have fun and support these businesses. “
Union Bectu, which represents the cinema sector, said the closure of Cineworld was “solely the result” of a delay in potential blockbusters.
Bectu director Philippa Childs said, “The confirmation that Cineworld is mothballing all of its cinemas will be devastating to everyone who works there.
“Cinemas are now able to operate safely. This decision is solely the result of the distributors’ decision to delay the release of blockbusters in the hope of making extra money later.”
“This is myopic in the extreme, and with other chains following Cineworld’s lead, it’s hard to see how there will be a fully functional industry to return to in six months’ time.
“Bectu will be working with the UK Cinema Association to pressure distributors to follow Christopher Nolan’s example of image distribution in order to keep a functioning cinema industry.
“We assume that Cineworld will continue to honor its legal obligations towards its employees, keep as many as possible and that those who have to let go of it do so on the most positive terms possible.
“The pandemic continues to pinpoint those industries that are building their considerable success on the basis of workers who are poorly paid and have no job security. This is an unsustainable situation that must change if we add some form of resilience to the workforce want to install. “”