China has ordered all of its cinemas to close once again as it continues to battle the coronavirus, reports say.
Last week, the first cinema in China re-opened its doors after closing in January. “We can’t stay closed forever,” a representative for the Zhongying Golden Palm Cinema in Urumqi told Chinese media.
Almost 500 cinemas had re-opened this week, but now sources tell Deadline that they have all been now ordered to shut once again.
Sources say that China’s national film bureau has contacted all cinemas today (March 27), telling them to close once again, with no news of when they might re-open.
It comes after over 200 cinemas in Shanghai were said to be set to open again tomorrow (March 28).
Cases of Covid-19 have been slowing in China over the past week, with only one internally-transmitted case in the last three days. Yesterday (March 26), though, there were 53 new cases reported from international travellers, which appears to have led to the decision to shut the cinemas once again.
The Odeon, Cineworld, Curzon and Picturehouse UK cinema chains were closed last week as the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge in the country. Earlier this week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK were to adopt strict coronavirus lockdown measures.
The Picturehouse chain, owned by Cineworld, announced a series of redundancies with immediate affect last week as the cinemas shut for the foreseeable future.
In order to try and combat the huge affect Covid-19 is having on the film industry – see a list of every film and TV show currently affected by the virus here – a number of films are being released online early, while Amazon are launching a Video Cinema hub for new cinema releases.