He’s best known for sweeping in at the last minute to save the day – but James Bond’s latest act could be the death knell for many British cinemas. The announcement that the release of No Time to Die, the 25th film featuring the secret agent, would be delayed again has left cinemas facing financial obliteration because of the absence of other forthcoming blockbuster films. In response London-based Cineworld, the world’s second largest cinema chain, on Sunday confirmed it is considering temporarily closing all 128 outlets in the UK and Ireland, including 26 Picturehouse venues, potentially affecting over 5,000 staff – many of whom found out on social media. The same could happen in the US, where it has 536 Regal cinemas. The chain had pinned its hopes on the new Bond film, now scheduled for release in April 2021. Instead its viability is in the balance less than two months after it reopened its screens. According to industry sources, the cinema industry is caught in a Catch-22 situation. Movie studios are reluctant to release blockbuster films until they are sure that audiences will return – and cinema owners are unable to prove they can lure back audiences given the… Read full this story
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