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Odeon owner AMC (AMC) slumps 6% in New York
Cinema-going in the UK is set to resume on 17th May after Odeon Cinemas, which is owned by AMC Entertainment (AMC), said on Tuesday that 120 sites would finally reopen with new safety measures.
Odeon managing director Carol Welch said that everyone had “missed the magic” of watching movies in front of a big screen following a lengthy lockdown period that has forced cinemas to close across the country.
The UK’s largest cinema chain will now start screening films, including Oscar Best Picture winner Nomadland, later this month at the “vast majority” of its sites.
The experience will be different from before the COVID-19 pandemic though, with limited seats, social distancing measures, face masks and contactless payments among the requirements that will be introduced.
While it is good news for Odeon, its owner AMC Entertainment Holdings recently admitted that it was struggling with cash flow after raising £76m in emergency funds late last year.
The pandemic has hit the industry hard, with attendance at Odeon cinemas in the UK plummeting 92% last year.
AMC and Odeon will be hopeful that upcoming blockbusters including No Time to Die, the latest entry in the James Bond franchise, will draw customers back after a long absence.
Analysts believe that there will be an initial rush for tickets in the UK, based on the recent reopenings in the US, but that there could be issues in the long term.
The spectre of streaming services looms large, though rival Cineworld (CINE) recently secured a 31 to 45–day exclusive window for Warner Bros. movies from 2022.
AMC’s cash struggles dominated the narrative for investors on Tuesday as its shares slumped a further 6.13% to $9.12 at midday ET in New York.
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