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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Vue Group Reduces Cinema Operations in the U.K.

The beleaguered exhibition sector in the U.K. took a further hit with Vue Cinemas switching to a weekends-only model for around a quarter of its 87 sites.

“We remain committed to ensuring that Vue has a long-term future, to protecting the livelihoods of our staff and keeping our doors open to ensure our cinemas continue to serve the communities they operate in,” a Vue spokesperson said on Sunday.

“However, from next week, we will be temporarily reducing our opening days to Friday-Monday (inclusive) at 21 out of our 87 UK sites to ensure that our business is financially well-placed to withstand the uncertainty ahead.”

“Our belief in the future of this industry is unshaken,” the spokesperson added.” “We came into this pandemic in a very strong position after a record 2019 and a record start to 2020, and we are looking forward to returning to full steam as soon as Hollywood studios start releasing the content which audiences are clamouring for.”

The carnage began with the Oct. 2 decision to postpone the release of James Bond film “No Time To Die” to Easter, 2021. Subsequently, the Cineworld group decided to temporarily suspend all their U.S. and U.K. and Ireland operations immediately after.

The AMC Theatres-owned Odeon group then switched a quarter of U.K. screens to a weekend-only model.

Last week, Vue chief Tim Richards said that he’d try and keep his cinemas open as long as possible, describing the Bond postponement as a “body blow.”

Meanwhile, U.K. distributors are gearing for a reduced-screen reality.

The affected Vue sites include the popular Vue West End in London’s Leicester Square.


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