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The Screens Go Dark

Cineworld Ashton is set to close this Thursday for the second time this year with no clear idea of when it may re-open next year. Despite many precautions in place to combat the virus cinemas across the world have failed to encourage larger audiences to return, even with films like Tenet and Bill & Ted.  It was always the traditional blockbusters and must see films that encouraged families and friends to visit the cinema but with social interaction impacted by Covid 19 that hasn’t happened. The delay to the latest Bond film was just the catalyst to prompt the closure with other films also moving release dates.

In a press statement Cineworld said “This is not a decision we made lightly. We did everything in our power to support safe and sustainable re-openings of our cinemas and we are so very grateful for our employees who implemented the new protocols, which resulted in lots of positive feedback from customers who visited our cinemas and felt safe. We were very proud of the fact that cinemas were open for 2 months and there was not one COVID case resulting from visiting the cinema. We cannot underscore enough how difficult this decision was.

As we have done to date, we will do everything we can to save livelihoods and the company – this is an extremely delicate and tricky balance. We continue to work with the Cinema Association, to ensure we are lobbying government to support our employees and the industry which has so much cultural significance.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations once film studios are able to bring their pipeline of major movie releases back to the big screen. We can assure you that once a line-up of movie releases is confirmed, we will be ready to re-open our cinemas, as we did in July, with the same safety levels you have already seen while at the same time keeping the great experience that you are used to getting from us.

A big thank you goes to you, our movie-loving customers; your health and wellbeing has always been our priority during this difficult time and we look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible to enjoy a full slate of films.

From a local perspective the closure sees people losing jobs and it will no doubt have some impact on the surrounding eateries too.  About Tameside would like to extend our best wishes to the staff, which include many long serving members, and hope they find some alternative employment in these very challenging times for us all.

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