Cineworld is looking to reopen all its theaters across the U.S., U.K. and Europe from late June to July.
The Mooky Greidinger-run firm — which operates cinema chains Regal in the U.S., Cineworld and Picturehouse in the U.K. and Ireland, Cinema City in Europe and Yes Planet in Israel — said Tuesday morning that with “Tenet” and “Mulan” confirmed for release, a screening schedule is now possible.
Cineworld’s screens in the Czech Republic and Slovakia will be first to open on June 26; followed by Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania on July 3; and Israel on July 9; and finally the U.S. and U.K. on July 10. The firm has said, however, that all dates are subject to various government restrictions.
The business, which operates 787 venues and 9,500 screens across 10 countries, has said it will introduce a number of COVID-19 health measures including an updated booking system to ensure social distancing within and throughout auditoriums; an adapted daily movie schedules to manage queues and avoid the build-up of crowds in lobbies; and enhanced cleanliness and sanitation procedures across all sites.
Cineworld, the world’s second largest movie business, predicted in late May that its cinemas would be able to reopen by July. Tethered to a $3.5 billion debt pile, the business secured new funding from its lenders, including $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 would also seek to access $25 million through the U.S. government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Cineworld CEO Greidinger said: “We are thrilled to be back and encouraged by recent surveys that show that many people have missed going to the movie theatre. With a strong slate confirmed for the coming weeks, including among others ‘Tenet,’ ‘Mulan,’ ‘A Quiet Place Part II,’ ‘Wonder Women 1984,’ ‘Black Widow,’ ‘Bond,’ ‘Soul,’ ‘Top Gun Maverick’ and many more, the entire Cineworld team remains committed to being ‘the best place to watch a movie’”.
The Cineplex acquisition, announced in December, was met with raised eyebrows given Cineworld’s acquisition of Regal only closed in 2018. Cineplex operates 165 cinemas with 1,695 screens and is the dominant player in the Canadian theatrical market. The business said Monday that it will commence legal proceedings against Cineworld and seek damages for the scuppered deal.