Cineworld will temporarily close 127 sites in the UK after big studios began to delay major film releases to wait for better audiences.
The company, which has sites in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Falkirk and Glasgow, said the decision was not “made lightly”, adding it “will continue to monitor the situation closely”.
The move comes following repeated delays of big-budget films, such as the next James Bond movie, Marvel’s Black Widow and DC’s Wonder Woman 1984.
The temporary closure will extend to its sites in the US, with the decision affecting around 45,000 employees in the two countries – Cineworld’s two main markets.
It will shut 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theatres in the UK from this Thursday and 536 Regal theatres in the US.
Cineworld chief executive Mooky Greidinger said: “This is not a decision we made lightly, and we did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable reopenings in all of our markets – including meeting, and often exceeding, local health and safety guidelines in our theatres and working constructively with regulators and industry bodies to restore public confidence in our industry.
“We are especially grateful for and proud of the hard work our employees put in to adapt our theatres to the new protocols and cannot underscore enough how difficult this decision was.
“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.”