AMC Theatres-owned Odeon cinema chain is shuttering a quarter of its U.K. cinemas during the week and will operate on a weekend-only model from Friday. Variety understands the company emailed their affected loyalty program customers with the information late last week.
“We look forward to reopening full-time when the big blockbusters return,” said the email. “But in the meantime, we promise to bring you a great choice of big-screen films to enjoy at the weekends.”
Consequently, some customers have decided not to renew their membership.
“I’ve just canceled my Odeon card and they just sent an email to say they are reducing opening from Friday to Monday at my local. Hated doing it as had my limitless for 4 years but cannot justify the cost with nothing to watch,” one customer tweeted.
Odeon operates some 120 cinemas across the U.K. and Ireland. The company declined to comment for this article.
The news comes as rival chain Cineworld confirmed the temporary closure of all their cinemas in the U.K. and U.S.
Tim Richards, CEO of the Vue chain did not rule out closing some venues as the distribution industry reels from the postponement of James Bond title “No Time To Die,” to Apr. 2, 2021. “We’re being forced right now to look at options,” Richards told Sky News.
The independent cinema sector in England received a boost last week with a government cash injection administered by the British Film Institute as part of its Culture Recovery Fund. U.K. Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden visited an independent cinema recently and has requested patrons to return to cinemas.
“Support your cinema,” Dowden tweeted. “Last week I went to an independent cinema that we are supporting through our £1.5bn #CultureRecoveryFund. Cinemas are open. They are taking every step to keep everyone safe. So please support your local cinema by visiting.”
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