Brixton’s Ritzy among hundreds of cinemas to suspend operations


The Cineworld Group announced this morning (5 October) that all of its Picturehose cinemas in the UK – which includes Brixton’s Ritzy – will temporarily suspend operations from Thursday, 8 October.

The US-based company said this was “in response to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures due to the Covid‐19 pandemic”.

Cineworld will also suspend operations at its 536 Regal theatres in the US. It has 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse cinemas in the UK.

It said it could not provide customers with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theatres against the backdrop of the pandemic.

The closures will affect about 45,000 employees worldwide.

Cineworld said in a statement that it would continue to monitor the situation closely and communicate any future plans to resume operations.

Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger said: “This is not a decision we made lightly, and we did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable reopenings in all of our markets.”

He said the chain was “especially grateful for and proud of the hard work our employees put in to adapt our theatres to the new protocols.”

In 2018, Cineworld became the second largest cinema chain in the world, spending £2.7 billion on the US Regal chain, financed by a mix of debt and a new share issue.

A long-running struggle for improved pay and conditions for Ritzy workers, during which employees were unfairly dismissed, was suspended last year.