Nearly a quarter of Vue cinemas will be shut three days a week in an effort to reduce costs following delays in the release of a string of blockbusters.
From next week, the cinema chain will reduce its opening hours to four days a week at 21 of its 91 sites, keeping them shut on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
This comes after rival chain Cineworld announced it will temporarily close 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse sites in the UK.
The chief executive of Vue Cinemas previously said cinema chains were dealt a ‘body blow’ by the delay to the next James Bond film, No Time To Die, until April next year.
Marvel film Black Widow, sci-fi blockbuster Dune and Jurassic World: Dominion are also among the high-profile titles that have seen release delays as a result of the global pandemic.
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Tim Richards said: Our problem right now is we have no movies. This was a big blow for us.
‘We’re likely going to make it through; I’m concerned about the independents and the small regional operators right now that are going to really struggle, and when they close they may not reopen.’
Five of the branches with reduced opening hours are in London, including the chain’s large cinema in Leicester Square.
Which Vue cinemas are affected?
Hull Princes Quay
West End (Leicester Square)
Rival chain Odeon has also confirmed that about 30 of its 120 cinema sites will shut from Monday to Thursday after audience figures have been slow to recover following the pandemic.
The AMC-owned cinema chain recently emailed loyalty customers to notify them that some cinemas will operate on a weekend-only model for the time being.
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