Cineworld to close all sites in UK and Ireland

Cinema chain makes decision after latest James Bond film was further delayed

Cineworld, Parnell Street, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Cineworld, Parnell Street, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

Cinema chain Cineworld is set to close its Ireland and UK sites that remain open in the coming weeks.

The closures come as the release of the latest James Bond film was further delayed from November to spring 2021, the PA news agency understands.

As first reported in The Sunday Times, bosses will write to British prime Minister Boris Johnson and British culture secretary Oliver Dowden to tell them that cinema has become “unviable” as studios keep putting back blockbuster releases.

The Cineworld cinema on Parnell Street in Dublin’s city centre was already closed due to Government restrictions.

The closure of its 128 sites across Ireland and the UK will put up to 5,500 jobs at risk.

In July, the British government promised a package of more than £1.5 billion (€1.66m) to help the arts and culture industries forced to shut down earlier this year as a result of the pandemic.

Cineworld had reopened most of its cinemas in July when lockdown measures were eased in Ireland and UK.

Daniel Craig’s final outing as spy James Bond will not hit big screens until next April, it was announced on Friday.

No Time To Die was originally scheduled for release in April 2020, but was first pushed back to November as a result of the pandemic.

A statement on the film’s official Twitter account said: “We understand the delay will be disappointing to our fans but we now look forward to sharing No Time To Die next year.” – PA