Cineworld Plans for Global Reopening of All Cinemas in July, Secures Additional Funding

Melinda Sue Gordon

Cineworld, the world’s second largest movie theater business, says it anticipates opening all of its cinemas in July, and that it has secured new funding from its lenders.

Cineworld operates in 10 countries with 787 sites and 9,500 screens, including the Regal chain in the U.S., and the Cineworld and Picturehouse brands in the U.K. and Ireland. It also operates in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and Israel.

The under-pressure firm, which has a $3.5 billion debt pile, has seen its entire estate close due to the coronavirus crisis and lockdowns. Last month it announced it was suspending dividend payments to investors.

In a statement to investors today, Cineworld said it 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 company said it has put in place procedures to ensure a safe and enjoyable cinema experience for its employees and customers.

It said the reopening of cinemas would start with “the highly anticipated” new Christopher Nolan movie “Tenet” and immediately after that Disney’s adventure movie “Mulan.”

Cineworld also outlined details of its new funding in the statement, which includes $110 million of additional liquidity through an increase in its revolving credit facility, and $45 million through the U.K.’s Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS). Cineworld said it will also seek to access $25 million through the U.S. government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Cineworld said it expected that the additional liquidity “will provide it with sufficient headroom to support the Group even in the unlikely event cinemas remain closed until the end of the year.”