U.K. Cinemas Shutter Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
Cineworld and Picturehouse announced that they are shuttering all cinemas across the U.K. from Wednesday. Their cinemas in Ireland will be closed from Tuesday.
The Odeon cinema chain is closing its theaters today until further notice.
The BFI Southbank centre has also been closed, effectively immediately. All forthcoming events and screenings at BFI Southbank have now cancelled or postponed.
The move follows government advice yesterday that people should stop going to the cinemas and theaters to help combat the spread of the virus.
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Multiplex chain Cineworld has 124 sites in the U.K. and Ireland. Arthouse cinema chain Picturehouse is owned by Cineworld and has 26 cinemas around the U.K.
Cineworld Group CEO Mooky Greidinger said: “At Cineworld and Picturehouse, we are committed to providing safe and healthy environments for our employees and guests and have therefore made the difficult decision to close our cinemas in UK and Ireland until further notice.
“We deeply value our cinema-loving customers and have no doubt we will be serving everyone again as soon as possible with a full slate of Hollywood blockbusters and the best of independent films and content.”
Odeon has over 100 cinemas and 850 screens in the U.K. and Ireland. Its centrepiece cinema, Odeon Luxe Leicester Square, has hosted over 700 of Europe’s biggest film premieres since the 1930s.
Odeon is owned by AMC Theaters, which announced on Monday that it will close all its theaters in the United States for six to 12 weeks in response to the coronavirus pandemic.