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Odeon confirms 17 May reopening of vast majority of cinemas

Cineworld had already said it will reopen its 127 sites in May

AMC Entertainment Holdings -
Finally due to appear in October

Odeon Cinemas, Britain’s second-largest cinema chain, has confirmed it will reopen most of its 120 sites on 17 May.

The group, which is owned by US-listed AMC Entertainment, said the reopening would be with appropriate safety measures in place.

These will include facemasks unless people are eating or drinking, and limited seating to allow gaps between customers.

Cash will no longer be accepted, with most showings likely to be pre-booked.

Last month, AMC (NYSE:AMC) said it would run out of cash unless it was allowed to reopen and was burning through US$125mln a month.

Analysts have predicted strong demand in the early stages when cinemas reopen based on what has happened in the US so far but are concerned about the longer-term impact of streaming releases on audience numbers.

Cinemas have always enjoyed exclusive rights to new films but makers started to use streaming over the internet in earnest during the lockdown.

The success has prompted speculation over whether filmmakers have shifted their thinking over film releases.

Cineworld PLC (LON:CINE) which is also reopening in the UK on 17 May, recently agreed on a deal with Warner Bros that from 2022 will give it between a 31- 45-day exclusive window before films are streamed, but that compares to 109 days in 2019.

AMC has a deal with Universal for 17 days of exclusive use.

Warner also intends to release 2021 releases to streaming at the same time as the cinema release and did this with Godzilla v King Kong in the US, but the good news for cinema owners is that film still enjoyed a record-breaking debut grossing US$385mln in its first two weeks.

 

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