CINEMA chain Odeon has announced plans to run a weekend only schedule in around a quarter of its branches.
It comes despite Boris Johnson today urging film fans to head to the cinema to prevent the big screens from going bust.
He said: “I would say to people, local cinemas do now have ways of letting their shows go on in a Covid-secure way and I would encourage people to go out to the cinema, enjoy themselves and support those local businesses.”
The Prime Minister’s admission came after rival chain Cineworld confirmed it was temporarily closing all 127 of its UK branches for a second time due to the coronavirus crisis.
Odeon said its decision will affect 30 of its venues starting this weekend.
Affected cinemas will open from Friday to Sunday only for the forseeable future.
Odeon, which operates 120 cinemas in the UK, hasn’t said when it expects to start running a fuller schedule again.
The cinema chain says customers with its Limitless card were first notified about the shake-up last week, although it’s unclear if they’ve been offered a partial refund or additional perks instead.
Limitless members pay usually £17.99 a month outside of London or £19.99 within central London to watch as many films as they like.
You also get 10% off selected in-cinema food and drink, member previews, and other treats.
Rival Cineworld confirmed it was temporarily closing all its UK and US cinemas this morning, putting 45,000 jobs across both countries on the line.
The coronavirus has outbreak caused several blockbuster movies to be pushed back, including the latest James Bond film No Time To Die.