Cineworld across the UK, Ireland and America have had to close their doors once more from Friday 9th October 2020, due to being unable to financially remain open and seemed to be struggling. This news shocked a lot of people, especially after the news that, James Bond: No Time To Die announced their postponement on the hugely anticipated cinema release, for the second time, to April 2021.
I, for one, have become a cinema fanatic over the last few years. During national Lockdown earlier this year, I very much missed the cinema, which resulted in a noticeable decline with my mental health, although I fought it as much as possible, there were days where I would not get out of bed, nor would I get changed. Amongst this, my sleeping pattern had become out of sync, where I would sleep a lot more than usual, I would not eat, I found everything around me (such as music, Television, Netflix, etc.) uninteresting, I was bored. Although I loved staying under lockdown as I did eventually finish my Journalism Diploma online, I couldn’t help but wonder when the nightmare would end and every day waking up in the hope I would get an email from Cineworld regarding their doors opening again. My prayers were eventually answered, but not until August when Cineworld did eventually reopen. I was somewhat able to drive to Plymouth to watch a few movies – I had a voucher from before Lockdown I needed to use, and I also felt I needed to start using my Unlimited again, seeing as I do pay to be a member, and it is worth it! The first film I went to see upon Cineworld re-opening, was, of course, Back To The Future (it was on the big screen, I couldn’t resist!). After this, I very quickly slipped back into the habit of travelling, and driving, again, which didn’t involve scheduled trips to the supermarket anymore! This also resumed one part of my social life, which I miss a lot!. During the very short period of Cineworld being open I have seen; Back To The Future, Dirty Dancing, Jurassic Park, Tenet (although I came out of that film with a headache and feeling super confused!), The New Mutants, Bill & Ted Face The Music x2, as there were sound issues the first time, so sat through the next screening after, and on the last day, before the doors closed again, I watched After We Collided.
I do, however, feel as though Cineworld could have pushed to gain some licensing approvals for some other old films, such as Billy Elliot, which could have been shown after they opened their doors, as this was actually scheduled to be shown before Lockdown, Harry Potter – all the films, and many more classics that people clearly enjoy and would love to see on the big screen. I also include some guilty pleasures of mine (which I still enjoy on occasion) such as Mr Bean’s Holiday, Mr Poppers Penguins, Happy Feet, Mamma Mia, Grease etc., the list goes on – these are just examples I am throwing out here btw!
There are plenty of popular films that are repeated favourites people would love to see on the big screen, particularly if they are films I, and many others, absolutely enjoy now but were either too young or not born yet, when originally on cinema release.
Anyway, other than babbling on about the things Cineworld and other major and independent cinema’s could have arranged to keep their doors open, I did notice on every visit it was sometimes just me in the screen room. Sometimes I had the company of maybe 3 or 4 other people (socially seated of course!). Still, I guess my frustrations lie solely with the Government and film industries on this one, particularly as the Government are not focusing on financially helping the cinema industry which is part of the entertainment industry, nor are they focusing on helping the arts either! Instead, they focus on saving the Hospitality industry – not forgetting an industry which has also reported a surge in Covid-19 cases due to the lack of social distancing measures – particularly during the “eat out to help out” scheme, and when alcohol is involved social distancing becomes non-existent! Have you heard any news on the Cinema’s reporting cases on Covid-19? NO! BECAUSE THERE WERE NO CASES TO REPORT. And this is because the cinema’s did EVERYTHING right, they asked every customer for their details for track and trace, they promoted social distancing within the cinema rooms, i.e., if you booked a film either online or over the counter you would need to book a seat (or a few) away from someone else! I, for one, never felt safer at the cinema – safer than the supermarkets and when out in my local town centre, and what has happened? Cinemas have had to close their doors because they cannot afford to operate with a lack of customers coming in as people prefer to go to a CROWDED pub, and catch Covid. Then state they “don’t go to the cinema because they don’t feel safe there” but they somehow feel safe in a crowded pub or restaurant or supermarket? Okay…. :/.
I have never felt more strongly about this before, mainly because I, and many others, are in limbo as to when Cineworld and other cinemas will be opening their doors again, I do pray it is soon, but I really wish something can be done to help this industry, as it has a knock-on effect across the whole industry, not just the cinema industry, but the effect on entertainment, movie releases, and the arts – if the cinemas cannot reopen, then there is no platform for new film releases due to the cinema’s closing, and this has an effect on the Theatres, for the same reason the cinema’s experienced – lack of customers into their doors, meaning a whole industry within the entertainment will continue to remain out of work and with no wages because the government have decided to furlough Hospitality but not entertainment and arts. People like me who were on the cusp of gaining work experience within the industry are now worried about their potential future career plans. I know the industry will eventually recover, but why should they struggle when places that clearly have had case surges of Covid-19 get furloughed and financial help and continue to cause the issues and the cinema, arts, entertainment industry continue to struggle where they reported NO CASES of covid-19? Does not make sense!?
I understand everyone is struggling and that “not every business can be saved”, but there is a whole industry on the edge of collapsing due to being ignored. It is not right, something needs to be done, to help these people who have not had furlough payments at all, who have probably had to sell their homes to move back with their families, who are struggling to make ends meet, there are thousands of jobs in one HUGE industry struggling and they are not being looked after when they should be!
What do you think? Let me know whether you have gone to the cinema whilst they have been open, in the past two months, and leave me a comment on your thoughts about this, and what you would like to see on the big screen whilst new films are pending release.
Here is a little nostalgic video treat for all you Cineworld members and fans out there…