The UK and Ireland’s second largest cinema chain, Odeon, has closed all venues “until further notice”.
The move follows the UK government’s new coronavirus guidelines last night, which suggested though did not stipulate that people should not visit public venues including theaters, cinemas and pubs.
Odeon operates 120 cinemas in the UK and Ireland with 950 screens. The largest exhibitor in the region, Cineworld, which operates 124 sites including its Picturehouse cinemas, also closed its doors today.
Indie cinemas in the UK have also began shutting up shop, including London’s ICA and the BFI Southbank.
Odeon is owned by U.S. major AMC, which last night closed all of its domestic cinemas for a six-12 week period.
The UK has 1,543 confirmed coronavirus cases and 55 deaths. Ireland has 223 cases and 2 deaths.
Even before the closures, UK box office numbers were dropping, with takings this weekend close to 50% down on the previous period.
March 17, 2020
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