One of the UK’s largest cinema chains today said it was confident it would be able to start showing films again in July, including at its Dundee multiplex.
Cineworld bosses said its cinemas would open when restrictions are lifted and with new procedures put in place to keep its customers safe.
Many films, including the latest James Bond instalment No Time To Die, have moved their release dates to much later in the year.
However, one of this year’s largest film releases, Inception director Christopher Nolan’s $200 million film Tenet, has kept to its July 17 release date with Hollywood insiders speculating whether it would be forced to move.
The statement from the Cineworld bosses today gives hope its planned release can go ahead.
“Cineworld currently anticipates that Government restrictions related to cinemas will be lifted in each of its territories by July. Subject to this and confirmation of the schedule for film releases, Cineworld anticipates the reopening of all of its cinemas in July,” the cinema giant said in a statement to investors on Thursday.
“Cineworld has put in place procedures to ensure a safe and enjoyable cinema experience for its employees and customers.”
Disney’s live action version of Mulan has also been postponed due to Covid-19.
The chain promised to be “the best place to watch a movie” even as social distancing measures are likely to hugely change the experience of going to the cinema.
In Berlin, one theatre has ripped out many of its seats to ensure distance between members of the audience. Others have installed plastic screens between seats.
Bosses at the cinema chain said: “Cineworld is excited by the great movie line-up to follow the reopening of cinemas, starting with the highly anticipated new Chris Nolan movie Tenet and immediately after that with Mulan, a new Disney adventure movie.
“Cineworld, as always, greatly believes in the theatrical experience and is fully committed to be the best place to watch a movie.”
Bosses also said they had managed to secure another $110 million (£90m) through increasing the amount it is able to borrow from its banks.
It has also been approved for an additional potential $45m (£37m) in Government-backed coronavirus large business interruption loans.
The new funding gives the company enough headroom to support the chain even if cinemas have to stay closed until the end of the year, managers said.
No Time To Die, which was initially to be released in April, is currently scheduled to come out on November 12.
Cineworld’s shares rose by 25% after the news.
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