Cineworld could close all cinemas in the UK and US this week
CINEWORLD staff say they feel ‘betrayed’ after the chain said it is considering closing its UK cinemas.
The plan to temporarily shut more than 120 sites, affecting more than 5,000 stafff, follows the continued delay of blockbusters as a result of the pandemic.
On Friday, the forthcoming James Bond release No Time To Die became
the latest casualty as its November release was pushed back to next April.
One Cineworld worker said:
‘None of us have been told a thing, so me and my work colleagues are in panic mode right now,
wondering what’s going to happen to our jobs, especially this close to Christmas.’
Union Bectu, which represents staff in the cinema sector, urged filmmakers to think
‘carefully’ about the impact of delays that have ‘plunged cinema into crisis’.
Its head Philippa Childs said Cineworld staff should have been told of the plans directly.
The experience of cinemagoers since they reopened in July had been ‘overwhelmingly positive’, she added
But Ms Childs warned that ‘the stark reality is that without new releases it is unlikely footfall will increase to a level that makes opening financially viable’.
Cineworld said: ‘We can confirm we are considering the temporary closure of our UK and US cinemas, but a final decision has not yet been reached.’
Ministers have already promised more than £1.5billion, including £30million for independent cinemas, to help the arts and culture industries recover.