A cinema chain which operates in Tayside is looking at permanently closing some of its sites.
Cineworld, which has a multiplex at Camperdown Leisure Park in Dundee, is reportedly considering cutting rents and closing some cinemas after being hammered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, the chain put thousands of jobs at risk as it shut all of its UK and US cinemas indefinitely after the release of the latest James Bond film was pushed back to 2021.
It is now mulling a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) as part of a negotiation with landlords regarding its rent on 127 sites, according to a report in the Financial Times.
It is understood that the CVA is one of a number of options currently on the table.
Cineworld appointed advisers from restructuring specialists AlixPartners last month to engage in emergency talks with its lenders, as it expects to breach loan covenants in December.
The group, which also owns the Picturehouse chain and the Regal chain in the US, employs around 45,000 staff, including 5,500 in the UK.
Cineworld declined to comment on the reports.
It follows the owner of London’s Trocadero Centre lodged a High Court claim against Cineworld, suing it for £1.4 million over unpaid bills.
Film releases delayed
Rival Odeon cut opening hours in October for the same reason, and all cinemas in England have been closed during the second lockdown which began on 5 November.
Cinemas can’t open in Scotland if the region is in tier three or above.
Upon announcing plans to close its cinemas in the UK and the US last month, Cineworld said: “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.
“These closures will impact approximately 45,000 employees.
“Cineworld will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations in these markets at the appropriate time, when key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and, in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen.”