The price of shares in FTSE 250 entertainment group Cineworld (LON:CINE) slumped 34.63% to 25.80p (as of 11:40 BST) after management announced a suspension of cinema operation in the US and UK. The company said that the pipeline of new releases had dried up as studios rescheduled, making it difficult to encourage customers to return. The closure will effect around 45,000 employees and Cineworld will continue to monitor the situation.
CEO Mooky Greidinger commented: “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 – including meeting, and often exceeding, local health and safety guidelines in our theatres and working constructively with regulators and industry bodies to restore public confidence in our industry. We are especially grateful for and proud of the hard work our employees put in to adapt our theatres to the new protocols and cannot underscore enough how difficult this decision was, Cineworld will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations in these markets at the appropriate time, when key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and, in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen“.