Odeon to move a quarter of its 120 venues to weekend-only model

5 October 2020, 15:56 | Updated: 5 October 2020, 17:25

Odeon will only show films between Friday and Sunday as a response to the coronavirus pandemic
Odeon will only show films between Friday and Sunday as a response to the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Odeon will stop about 30 of its 120 cinema venues from operating between Mondays and Thursdays following a drop in audience numbers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The AMC-owned cinema chain emailed loyalty customers last week to notify them that some theatres will operate on a weekend-only model for the time being of Friday through to Sunday.

However, a spokesman said some venues will open Thursday through Sunday.

It is understood the announcement was made prior to MGM and Universal's decision to delay the latest James Bond movie from November to April 2021.

The decision comes after Cinema chain Cineworld confirmed plans to temporarily shut its sites in both the UK and the US after big studios started to delay their major film releases to wait for better audiences.

On Monday, work and pensions secretary Thérèse Coffey told LBC presenter Nick Ferrari that Cineworld workers "who are used to doing customer service and aspects of hospitality" could become care workers, after the cinema chain announced temporary closures.

In an email to customers, Odeon said: “We look forward to reopening full-time when the big blockbusters return.

“But in the meantime, we promise to bring you a great choice of big-screen films to enjoy at the weekends.”

Chief executive of the cinema chain Vue, Tim Richards, told Sky News his company was looking at "all options".

He added: "We’re likely going to make it through. We came into this a very strong industry. We just need to make it through the next three or four months where there are no movies.”

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