Coronavirus: Cineworld to reopen screens in time for summer blockbusters

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Closed cinemas in Leicester Square, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus. Picture date: Thursday April 9, 2020. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/Empics
Cineworld closed its UK screens in March. (Matt Crossick/Empics)

Cineworld (CINE.L) has announced plans to reopen cinemas across nine countries in the coming weeks, as several blockbuster movies have now been confirmed for release.

The cinema group plans to reopen screens in the UK and US on 10 July, while cinemas in Slovakia and Czech Republic will be opened as early as 26 June. Auditoriums in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania are scheduled to reopen on 3 July and cinemas in Israel on 9 July.

The company said all dates were “subject to final clarifications and confirmation in relation to various government COVID-19 restrictions” around the world.

Cineworld said it has made several operational changes and invested in new technology to ensure customer safety in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

New measures include an updated booking system that ensures social distancing within and throughout auditoriums, adapted movie schedules to manage queues and avoid the build-up of crowds in lobbies, and enhanced cleanliness and sanitation procedures across all sites.

The move comes as several highly anticipated summer blockbusters have been confirmed for release in the coming weeks. New releases include Christopher Nolan’s spy thriller ‘Tenet,’ Disney’s live-action remake of ‘Mulan.’ Superhero blockbusters ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Wonder Woman 1984’ will follow in the autumn.

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Hollywood studios postponed the release of new movies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as cinemas across the globe closed their doors under lockdown restrictions.

Cineworld screens in the UK have been closed since mid-March.

Cineworld CEO Mooky 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’.”

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