The death of cinema? Odeon will shut a QUARTER of its 120 venues during week as Cineworld confirms plans to close sites in UK and US with 45,000 jobs - including 5,500 in Britain - at risk after film studios delay releases

  • Cineworld set to close its 127 UK and Ireland cinemas putting 5,500 jobs at risk
  • Employees have taken to Twitter to complain they first heard about plans online
  • The decision will affect around 45,000 employees in both the UK and the US
  • Odeon announced a quarter of 120 venues will move to weekend-only model
  • Do you work for Cineworld? Get in touch via 
The UK's biggest cinema chains have today announced the closure of more than 150 sites, laying bare the toll of the coronavirus pandemic. 
On a devastating day for the industry, Cineworld confirmed plans to temporarily close all 127 of its sites across the UK, affecting up to 5,500 employees.  
Some 45,000 staff will be affected as the cinema giant mothballs all 600 of its theatres on both sides of the Atlantic. 
The swingeing closures come after the latest James Bond film - No Time to Die - delayed its release again due to the lockdown. 
Just hours later, Odeon announced that from Friday, around a quarter of its 120 venues will move to a weekend-only model. 
Meanwhile the boss of Vue said it was 'being forced to look at all options' to survive, including temporary closures, adding chains were dealt a 'body blow' by the delay of Bond's latest outing.
The boss of Cineworld said the company would have been 'like a grocery shop with no food' after film studios delayed several major releases. 
The chain will close 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse sites in the UK this Thursday - sending shares down by as much as 57% as markets opened in London. 
Boris Johnson acknowledged there would be 'tough times ahead' in the jobs market following the announcement but encouraged people to go to the movies. 
Cineworld today confirmed it was considering the temporary closure of its UK cinemas, as well as its US cinemas, but that 'a final decision has not yet been reached'
Cineworld today confirmed it was considering the temporary closure of its UK cinemas, as well as its US cinemas, but that 'a final decision has not yet been reached'
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Are you a Cineworld worker affected by the closures? 

Do you work for Cineworld? Get in touch via What cinema chains have been affected by the covid pandemic?  
CINEWORLD: The chain will temporarily close 600 theatres on both sides of the Atlantic, including all 127 in the UK 
VUE: Vue said it was 'being forced to look at all options' to survive, including temporary closures
ODEON: Around a quarter of its 120 venues will move to a weekend-only model

Fast & Furious sequel F9 is pushed back AGAIN to May 2021 

The Fast And The Furious series will not be seeing the checkered flag anytime soon.
The release of the highly-anticipated sequel F9 has been delayed again as it is now set for release on May 28, 2021 during Memorial Day weekend it was announced by Universal on Friday.
Back in March it was reported that the film was delayed to April 3 2021 according to The Hollywood Reporter.
However the most recent change was made hours after James Bond film No Time to Die delayed its release from November to April 2, 2021.
Universal is distributing the film internationally.
The Fast and Furious movies are always big earners at the domestic and international box office and the absence of F9 will impact the 2020 box office in a major way. The past two films have made over $1 billion.
Just a month earlier the full trailer had been unveiled. He said the company's 45,000 affected employees, 'know how important they are to us - we see our employees as a big family, we are very proud of them'.
He added: 'In order to secure their place of work we have to take this measure now. I hope they will be supported by all kinds of government plans.'
Mr Greidinger said the decision 'was not made lightly', adding: 'We did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable reopenings in all of our markets.' 
On Friday, the release of Bond film No Time To Die was delayed for the second time because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The film was meant to hit cinemas in November, but fans will now have to wait until April 2 next year before seeing Daniel Craig's final outing in the role.
The movie joins other potential hits such as Black Widow and Wonder Woman: 1984, which have been delayed by the pandemic. 
Last week, the release of the highly-anticipated Fast and Furious sequel F9 was also delayed again, while Disney announced last month that its live-action version of Mulan instead debut on its streaming service Disney Plus instead of a theatrical release.
The new Fast and Furious meanwhile is set for release on May 28, 2021, it was announced by Universal yesterday. 
Mr Greidinger said Cineworld will wait until 'the appropriate time' to talk about reopening.
Shares in FTSE 250-listed Cineworld more than halved today after the giant said it will temporarily shut down its cinemas. 
Cineworld shares crushed as much as 56 per cent to 17p in early trade, although they settled to trade down 30 per cent by 0930. 
They are down about 90 per cent since the start of the year, when they were trading at around 220p, before the pandemic struck.  
Alongside the closure plans, bosses of Cineworld Group PLC are reportedly preparing to write to culture minister Oliver Dowden (pictured)
Cineworld chiefs will also reportedly write to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to say the industry has become 'unviable'
Alongside the closure plans, bosses of Cineworld Group PLC are reportedly preparing to write to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and culture minister Oliver Dowden to say the industry has become 'unviable'

How the UK cinema industry took a hit in coronavirus pandemic 

Today's news comes as another knock-back for the UK cinema industry, which took a profit hit when the country was plunged into lockdown in March following the outbreak of coronavirus.
After months of forced closures, Cineworld was due to reopen its theatres on July 10, after lockdown measures were eased by the government, allowing the reopening of cinemas from July 4.
But it delayed the reopening of its cinemas in the UK by more than two weeks until July 31 to coincide with 'recent adjustments to the schedule of upcoming movie releases'.
Social distancing measures were also introduced, including such as one-way systems, perspex screens for staff, mandatory contactless payment and no more pick and mix.
However, despite reopening, Cineworld raised doubts over its ability to survive a second lockdown as it reported a £1.3bn loss for the first half of the year because of the Covid-19 crisis.
The cinema chain, which is the largest in the UK and second largest in the world behind Chinese firm Wanda Cinemas, posted pre-tax loss for the six months to June compares with profits of £110m a year earlier.
Issues were further compounded by a short supply of big blockbusters throughout the summer.
Christopher Nolan's spy-thriller Tenet set to be one of the highlights.
However industry experts have reportedly been 'spooked' by the film's lacklustre performance on the big screen, causing other major studios to postpone their major releases.   The chief executive of Vue Cinemas has said the company will try to avoid lay-offs but is being forced to look at all options, after rival Cineworld closed all its theatres in the UK and US.
Tim Richards said cinema chains were dealt a 'body blow' by the delay of the next James Bond film, No Time To Die, until April next year.
'We are struggling, we're absolutely struggling, we came into this after a record-breaking year, both as an industry and as a company ... we were well placed to ride this through, but this was unexpected,' he told Sky News on Monday.
He said that while studios are under pressure, they are taking decisions by focusing on the US, rather than cinemas in Europe and Asia.
'Everybody is struggling,' he said. 
'My one frustration is I think the studios are guilty of being a little bit US-centric and seeing what's happening in New York and LA, and not really looking globally.'
Asked if Vue would shut any sites, he said: 'We're being forced right now to look at options.'
Earlier on Monday, Mr Richards told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'We're good to go. 
'Our customers right now...there's a pent-up demand like we've never seen before to go out and enjoy a safe environment socially with others.
'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.
'We've tried to retain all of our jobs for the 5,500 employees we have in the UK and that's still our goal. 
'We're going to try and find a way through this. 
'This was an industry that was not broken.
'We came into this as a very strong industry; we just need to make it through the next three or four months where there are no movies.'
Cineworld employees have decried 'abhorrent' treatment by the company as they called for financial support after its decision to temporarily close all of its UK cinemas.  
The latest film in the James Bond series 'No Time To Die', which had been scheduled to debut in theatres on November 11, has now been postponed until April 2021
The latest film in the James Bond series 'No Time To Die', which had been scheduled to debut in theatres on November 11, has now been postponed until April 2021


What are the short-term causes of the closure?
The company's current troubles partially stem from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, which forced it to shut sites across the UK and other key markets in March.
Although sites reopened in July, and even earlier in other regions, social distancing rules and a reluctance from studios to release big-ticket films hampered audience figures.
On Monday, Cineworld said that, without these releases, it has been unable to provide UK and US audiences 'with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theatres against the backdrop of Covid-19'.
Major studios, such as Disney, announced heavily-delayed schedules or even pulled some films from cinema release entirely, with Disney opting to release its live-action Mulan film on its own streaming platform instead.
The latest hammer blow was James Bond studios MGM and Universal's decision to push No Time To Die's release from November to April 2021.
Mooky Greidinger, chief executive of Cineworld, said it will announce reopening plans when key markets recover and 'studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen'.
What long-term issues have led to this?
Dwindling audience numbers and a thin pipeline of new releases were a particular concern to Cineworld due to long-standing uncertainty in its finances.
The cinema group has grown rapidly in recent years on the back of acquisitions, buying rivals in different regions by lumbering the parent company with significant debts.
In 2018, the company snapped up US chain Regal.
The deal saw Cineworld inherit 535 cinemas, but also 1.6 billion dollars (£1.2bn) in liabilities which AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould said are 'now crushing the group'.
Its latest results revealed that it only had a cash balance of 285 million dollars (£220m), compared with around 8.5 billion dollars in debts (£6.6bn), consisting of 4.2 billion in borrowings and 4.3 billion in lease liabilities.
Cineworld's latest proposed takeover, of Canadian chain Cineplex was its most ill-fated with move after being agreed in December and then collapsing after Cineworld pulled out in the face of the pandemic.
The ensuing costly legal battle with Cineplex continues to rumble on in the backdrop. 
Cineworld is not alone in the sector for sitting on top of significant debt, with Odeon-owner AMC having around five billion dollars (£3.9bn) of debt, even after agreeing to cut its debt-pile by up to 630 million dollars (£486m) in July. 
What is the history of the business?
Cineworld was founded by Steve Wiener in the UK in 1995, growing steadily until it was snapped up by private equity giant Blackstone for £120 million in 2004.
The deal resulted in the start of Cineworld's expensive acquisition spree, with the business snapping up UK rival UGC months later.
Blackstone floated the company on the London stock exchange in 2007, before the company expanded further with the acquisition of the upmarket Picturehouse chain in 2012.
Two years later, the company merged with central and eastern Europe's biggest cinema group Cinema City but opted to keep the Cineworld name.
The Cinema City chain had been started in 1930 with Armon Theatre in Israel by Moshe Greidinger, the grandfather of the company's current chief.
Which cinemas and brands are at risk?
The group covers a litany of global brands but is best known in the UK for its core Cineworld, which operates 102 sites across the country.
Its ownership of Picturehouse, which has 25 sites across the UK, also means it owns some of the most recognisable theatres in the UK.
Monday's damning update casts a shadow over historic sites such as Brixton's Ritzy theatre, Edinburgh's 106-year-old Cameo theatre and Brighton's 110-year-old Duke of York, which are all operated by Picturehouse.
What does this mean for workers? 
Cineworld said that up to 45,000 employees will be affected by the announcement in the UK and US, with the move particularly perilous as it comes weeks before the end of the Government's current furlough scheme.
'The way Cineworld has treated us throughout the pandemic has been abhorrent,' a Cineworld team member who wished to remain anonymous told the PA news agency.
The employee has been with the company for three years on a zero-hour contract.
Another anonymous employee, from Cineworld's Warrington branch, said the atmosphere at work over the last two days has been 'awful'.
'People were crying, many worried how they will pay bills next month,' they said. 'The way we have been treated over these past months is disgusting.
'We have lived in constant fear... as hours have been cut significantly and many of us only just surviving on furlough pay.
'They underpaid us on furlough many times... they incorrectly calculated many of our furloughs too, and didn't communicate information whatsoever for many weeks.
'I will not be returning to a company that disregards us completely - (Cineworld chief executive Mooky Greidinger) still takes his million-pound salary and the rest of us are left to fend for ourselves.' 
Conner Morris, 24, from Cambridgeshire, has not returned to work since being furloughed from his Cineworld branch in mid-March and decried an 'absolute lack of communication' from the company.
'They keep sending us letters saying we're all in this together, but it was days before my branch reopened that I even discovered I wasn't going back yet (from furlough),' he told the PA news agency.
'We're already on low incomes, already on zero-hour contracts and now to get this suddenly.
'It's not just students and young people that work at cinemas, there are lots of team members who have children, houses and rent to pay.'
The Government's furlough scheme finishes at the end of the month and provided workers with 80% of their usual pay.
To match this Mr Morris' landlord allowed him to pay 80% of his rent each month, with the agreement he would pay back the difference when he was back working again.
Due to the closures, he is now unable to return to Cineworld to pay the landlord and despite applying for other jobs in the area during furlough has not received responses.
'If you can't run a business without treating your staff right, without a real living wage, without job security and without using them as utilities to make money... you can't run a business successfully,' Mr Morris added.
Staff also took to Twitter overnight to slam the company for not telling employees about the plans before they were reported. 
One Twitter user said: 'This is going out to all my fellow Cineworld colleagues up and down the country, wishing you the best in these early hours with the news of the closures.
'Been with Cineworld for 12 years, to find out I've not got a job via Twitter; once again; is damn appalling.'
Another, whose husband works for Cineworld, said: 'Just checking Twitter before bed ... oh looks like we just found out via Twitter that my husbands place of work is closing, thanks for telling your employees Cineworld, finding out on Twitter as usual.
'I guess we'll wait to hear from them at some point in the future.'  
A group on Twitter named the Cineworld Action Group also took to the social media site to comment on the reports. 
A Cineworld staff member, who did not want to be named, said they felt 'betrayed'.
The employee said: 'None of us have been told a single thing yet, so me and my work colleagues are sort of in panic mode right now, wondering what's going to happen to our jobs, especially this close to Christmas.'   
Alongside the closure plans, bosses of Cineworld Group PLC are reportedly preparing to write to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and culture minister Oliver Dowden to say the industry has become 'unviable'.
Cineworld said today: 'As major US markets, mainly New York, remained closed and without guidance on reopening timing, studios have been reluctant to release their pipeline of new films.  
'In turn, without these new releases, Cineworld cannot provide customers in both the US and the UK - the company's primary markets - with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theatres against the backdrop of Covid-19.'  
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said firms had received 'a lot of support' after the news broke on Monday.
Asked if the Government will help the chain, she told Sky News: 'One of the things Cineworld has cited is that cinemagoers want to be able to see new films coming through, as opposed to just seeing films of the past, and that's something which the whole industry can work together to deploy.
'Cineworld will have been supported throughout the year through the furlough scheme through other ways the Government has been supporting businesses.
'Conscious that aspects of the main furlough scheme are coming to an end, but there is a successor scheme there.'  Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: 'The new jobs support scheme, which will subsidise wages of part-time workers, will provide no lifeline for the 5,500 Cineworld UK employees who will lose their jobs this week and many others across the industry are facing a bleak winter on jobseekers benefit, while they begin the difficult search for new positions in the run-up to Christmas.' 
Labour shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens said: 'This is devastating news for Cineworld workers and cinema goers, and will have a knock-on impact on towns and city centres.
'The cinema industry was viable before the crisis and will be afterwards, when the film industry recovers.
'The failure of ministers to recognise the value of shut-down businesses, which now includes many cinemas, means they are consigning thousands of workers to the scrap heap.' 
British Film Institute (BFI) chief executive Ben Roberts raised similar concerns about the prospects of the industry as a whole, but emphasised 'great reasons to visit your local cinema - as distributors continue to offer new independent films to audiences'.
His call to get customers back into seats was echoed by the Government, which promised a package of more than £1.5billion to help the arts and culture industries recover from the pandemic in July.
A spokesman for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: 'The Government is supporting cinemas through the VAT cut on tickets and concessions, business rates holiday and bounce-back loans.
'Independent cinemas are also eligible for a share of £30 million from our unprecedented £1.5 billion culture recovery fund, and funding has started to be allocated already.
'Cinemas up and down the country are open for business and Covid secure.
'We urge the British public to support their local cinema and save jobs by visiting and enjoying a film in accordance with the guidance.' 
A statement on Twitter read: 'MGM, Universal and Bond producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, today announced the release of NO TIME TO DIE, the 25th film in the James Bond series, will be delayed until 2 April 2021 in order to be seen by a worldwide theatrical audience.
'We understand the delay will be disappointing to our fans but we now look forward to sharing NO TIME TO DIE next year.'
Reports of Cineworld closure plans comes amid a bloodbath of jobs on the high street, with 193,731 job losses now announced by major British employers since the start of the lockdown in March. 
Last week, TSB has said it will cut around 900 jobs as part of plans to close 164 of its high street bank branches.
The Edinburgh-based bank said it expects most of the redundancies to be voluntary but did not rule out forcing staff out. 
Major high street chains including Boots, WH Smith and Marks and Spencer had already announced job cuts.
Lunch chain Pret a Manger announced 2,800 job cuts earlier this year, while coffee giant Costa announced plans to cut 1,650 jobs.

Nearly 200,000 job losses revealed by UK firms since lockdown began 

Some 192,831 job losses have been announced by major British employers since the start of the lockdown in March as follows:
  • September 22 – Wetherspoon – 400 to 450
  • September 22 – Whitbread – 6,000
  • September 18 – Investec – 210
  • September 15 – Waitrose – 124
  • September 14 – London City Airport – 239
  • September 9 – Lloyds Bank – 865
  • September 9 – Pizza Hut – 450
  • September 4 – Virgin Atlantic – 1,150
  • September 3 – Costa – 1,650
  • August 27 – Pret a Manger – 2,800 (includes 1,000 announced on July 6)
  • August 26 – Gatwick Airport – 600
  • August 25 – Co-operative Bank – 350
  • August 20 – Alexander Dennis – 650
  • August 18 – Bombardier – 95
  • August 18 – Marks & Spencer – 7,000
  • August 14 – Yo! Sushi – 250
  • August 14 – River Island – 350
  • August 12 – NatWest – 550
  • August 11 – InterContinental Hotels – 650 worldwide
  • August 11 – Debenhams – 2,500
  • August 7 – Evening Standard – 115
  • August 6 – Travelex – 1,300
  • August 6 – Wetherspoons – 110 to 130
  • August 5 – M&Co – 380
  • August 5 – Arsenal FC – 55
  • August 5 – WH Smith – 1,500
  • August 4 – Dixons Carphone – 800
  • August 4 – Pizza Express – 1,100 at risk
  • August 3 – Hays Travel – up to 878
  • August 3 – DW Sports – 1,700 at risk
  • July 31 – Byron – 651
  • July 30 – Pendragon – 1,800
  • July 29 – Waterstones – unknown number of head office roles
  • July 28 – Selfridges – 450
  • July 27 – Oak Furnitureland – 163 at risk
  • July 23 – Dyson – 600 in UK, 300 overseas
  • July 22 – Mears – fewer than 200
  • July 20 – Marks & Spencer – 950 at risk
  • July 17 – Azzurri Group (owns Zizzi and Ask Italian) – up to 1,200
  • July 16 – Genting – 1,642 at risk
  • July 16 – Burberry – 150 in UK, 350 overseas
  • July 15 – Banks Mining – 250 at risk
  • July 15 – Buzz Bingo – 573 at risk
  • July 14 – Vertu – 345 July 14 – DFS – up to 200 at risk
  • July 9 – General Electric – 369
  • July 9 – Eurostar – unknown number
  • July 9 – Boots – 4,000
  • July 9 – John Lewis – 1,300 at risk
  • July 9 – Burger King – 1,600 at risk
  • July 7 – Reach (owns Daily Mirror and Daily Express newspapers) – 550
  • July 6 – Pret a Manger – 1,000 at risk
  • July 2 – Casual Dining Group (owns Bella Italia and Cafe Rouge) – 1,909
  • July 1 – SSP (owns Upper Crust) – 5,000 at risk
  • July 1 – Arcadia (owns TopShop) – 500
  • July 1 – Harrods – 700
  • July 1 – Virgin Money – 300
  • June 30 – Airbus – 1,700
  • June 30 – TM Lewin – 600
  • June 30 – Smiths Group – 'some job losses'
  • June 25 – Royal Mail – 2,000
  • June 24 – Jet2 – 102
  • June 24 – Swissport – 4,556
  • June 24 – Crest Nicholson – 130
  • June 23 – Shoe Zone – unknown number of jobs in head office
  • June 19 – Aer Lingus – 500
  • June 17 – HSBC – unknown number of jobs in UK, 35,000 worldwide
  • June 15 – Jaguar Land Rover – 1,100
  • June 15 – Travis Perkins – 2,500
  • June 12 – Le Pain Quotidien – 200
  • June 11 – Heathrow – at least 500
  • June 11 – Bombardier – 600
  • June 11 – Johnson Matthey – 2,500
  • June 11 – Centrica – 5,000
  • June 10 – Quiz – 93
  • June 10 – The Restaurant Group (owns Frankie and Benny's) – 3,000
  • June 10 – Monsoon Accessorise – 545
  • June 10 – Everest Windows – 188
  • June 8 – BP – 10,000 worldwide
  • June 8 – Mulberry – 375
  • June 5 – Victoria's Secret – 800 at risk
  • June 5 – Bentley – 1,000
  • June 4 – Aston Martin – 500
  • June 4 – Lookers – 1,500
  • May 29 – Belfast International Airport – 45
  • May 28 – Debenhams (in second announcement) – 'hundreds' of jobs
  • May 28 – EasyJet – 4,500 worldwide
  • May 26 – McLaren – 1,200
  • May 22 – Carluccio's – 1,000
  • May 21 – Clarks – 900
  • May 20 – Rolls-Royce – 9,000
  • May 20 – Bovis Homes – unknown number
  • May 19 – Ovo Energy – 2,600
  • May 19 – Antler – 164
  • May 15 – JCB – 950 at risk
  • May 13 – Tui – 8,000 worldwide
  • May 12 – Carnival UK (owns P&O Cruises and Cunard) – 450
  • May 11 – P&O Ferries – 1,100 worldwide
  • May 5 – Virgin Atlantic – 3,150
  • May 1 – Ryanair – 3,000 worldwide
  • April 30 – Oasis Warehouse – 1,800
  • April 29 – WPP – unknown number
  • April 28 – British Airways – 12,000
  • April 23 – Safran Seats – 400
  • April 23 – Meggitt – 1,800 worldwide
  • April 21 – Cath Kidston – 900
  • April 17 – Debenhams – 422
  • March 31 – Laura Ashley – 268
  • March 30 – BrightHouse – 2,400 at risk
  • March 27 – Chiquito – 1,500 at risk


Films currently showing at the cinema include Tenet, Bill and Ted Face the Music, After We Collided and Cats and Dogs: Paws Unite!
Late last week James Bond studios MGM and Universal delayed the release of No Time To Die for a second time.
The release of Christopher Nolan's action-thriller Tenet in August offered the industry a needed boost, making more than £5 million at the UK and Ireland box office in its opening weekend.
However, Disney decided at short notice to release its live-action Mulan film - which had been expected to draw family audiences back to movie theatres - on its Disney+ streaming platform instead.
Another of this year's hotly anticipated releases, Wonder Woman 1984, has also had its release date pushed back. The superhero sequel, starring Gal Gadot, had been set to arrive in the US on October 2 but now has a December release date. 
Here is the current release schedule for 2020, which may be subject to change:
Another of this year's hotly anticipated releases, Wonder Woman 1984, has also had its release date pushed back
Another of this year's hotly anticipated releases, Wonder Woman 1984, has also had its release date pushed back
October 16
The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (Launches on Netflix)
Rebecca (Released in cinemas before Netflix release on October 21)
Over The Moon (Released in cinemas before Netflix release on October 21)
October 28
The Witches (Launches on HBO Max)
November 13
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (Netflix)
November 27
Soul (Pixar)
December 11
Free Guy (20th Century Studios)
Peter Rabbit 2 (Columbia Pictures)
December 18
Coming 2 America (Paramount)
Death On The Nile (20th Century Studios)
Dune (Warner Bros)
December 26
Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros)

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