Cinema chains shut doors in fight against coronavirus

Odeon, Cineworld and Picturehouse among those to announce plans to close for the foreseeable future.

Cinemas across Scotland, the UK and Ireland are shutting down due to the coronavirus.

Major chains including Odeon, Cineworld and Picturehouse have announced plans to close their doors for the foreseeable future, following updated guidance on the Covid-19 outbreak.

Boris Johnson has called on people to stay away from pubs, clubs and theatres and to avoid all non-essential contacts and travel.

Cineworld and Picturehouse are shutting all UK outlets starting from Wednesday while outlets in Ireland will close on Tuesday.

Cineworld Group chief executive 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.”

In a tweet, Odeon said its theatres are “closed until further notice” and told any customers with tickets bought online they will be refunded automatically.

Cinema UK, which represents the industry, said “most UK cinema sites” would close in the coming days .

The BFI Southbank, the screening complex operated by the British Film Institute, said it was closing “effective immediately”.

A tweet said: “It’s with great regret that, due to the rapidly evolving Covid-19 pandemic, and following Government’s updated advice, we’ve taken the decision to close BFI Southbank effective immediately.

“All forthcoming events & screenings are now cancelled or postponed.”

The move comes around the UK closed on Monday as part of stringent measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including the Edinburgh Playhouse and Glasgow’s Theatre Royal and King’s Theatre, as well as theatres in London’s west end.

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