Lack of new films pose massive problem for cinemas, owner warns

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The shortage of new films being released is a “massive problem” for cinemas, the owner of an independent venue has said.

Tyrone Walker-Hebborn, who owns Genesis Cinema in east London, said he is not surprised 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse cinemas are to close from Thursday.

He added he “saw it coming a couple of weeks ago”.

Coronavirus – Fri Jul 3, 2020
(Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“Unfortunately, when we saw that Bond was late, we weren’t surprised to find that Cineworld is shutting its cinemas,” Mr Walker-Hebborn told the PA news agency.

He added that the delays are “very, very shortsighted”.

“For me, it seems as if they want that hundred-million dollar opening weekend and they think by delaying a film until next year, more cinemas are going to be open,” he said.

Cineworld back on track after snow disruption
(Yui Mok/PA)

Mr Walker-Hebborn added: “The screens won’t be there for these guys to get that hundred million dollar opening weekend.

“You only have to take it one step further to realise what’s going to happen.”

He said the predicament “is a massive problem for the industry as a whole” and more venues will be forced to close if new releases do not arrive soon.

He said the coverage of Cineworld opting to shut their venues “sends out a message to the general public that cinemas are closing”.

Mr Walker-Hebborn added that people have been contacting his venue to check that they are still going to be showing films.

He said his cinema intends to “soldier on” and he has been “building our business up nicely”.

Genesis Cinema reopened in July following the lockdown.

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