As the film industry struggles with the fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent delay in release of the year’s last tentpole film, Bond’s ‘No Time To Die’, Cineworld/Regal cinemas have confirmed the temporary closure of its doors across the UK and US.

In a statement released Monday, the group said: “In response to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cineworld confirms that it will be temporarily suspending operations at all of its 536 Regal theatres in the U.S. and its 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theatres in the U.K. from Thursday, 8 October 2020.”

They went on to state the failure by the studios to release any blockbuster film is having a detrimental effect on their business.

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“Without these new releases, Cineworld cannot provide customers in both the U.S. and the U.K. — the company’s primary markets — with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theatres against the backdrop of COVID-19.”

This has a knock-on effect that sees some 45,000 employees across the UK and US – with many in the UK finding out via the media first – out of a job.

It’s believed that Cineworld has contacted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to highlight the dire straits the exhibition sector is in due to studios delaying tentpole movies.

The chain could reopen in 2021, no date has yet been set.