Vue Cinemas follow competitor's lead in closing down operations
Odeon, Cineworld and Picturehouse have all announced their closure this morning and Vue Cinemas have also informed staff that their sites are closed from today until further notice.
The news has yet to be made official to members of the public, but according to social media, staff employed by the chain received a notification this morning saying: "We will not be opening our UK and Ireland cinemas today until further notice. Unless you are a manager rostered for work today, please do not go to work. We will keep all our staff updated."
At this stage the only main exhibitor we are still waiting to hear from is Curzon. Other cinemas yet to update their position include Everyman, Empire, The Light, Regal (although all US theatres have closed), Showcase and Reel.
Phil Clapp, CEO of the UK Cinema Association, has said: "The priority now is to ensure that the thousands who work in the sector, many of them young people, are helped during what will be an exceptionally challenging period for them, and that cinema venues across the country are supported to overcome what for many will represent an unprecedented challenge to their existence.”
Update: We have since heard that the CEO of Vue International, Tim Richards, has confirmed the closure of the chain, saying: ‘Since the first news of the Covid-19 outbreak, we have been doing everything we can to provide a high quality, enjoyable and safe big screen experience for our customers. However in line with the UK Government’s latest public health advice we will be temporarily closing all our 91 cinemas in the UK & Ireland from today, March 17, until further notice."