Odeon is set to operate a weekend-only model at a quarter of its venues, as well as close a quarter of its venues during the week.
The chain, which operates 120 venues across the UK and Ireland, confirmed to members of its Limitless loyalty scheme that the weekend model will run between Friday and Sunday, with a spokesperson adding that some venues will operate Thursday to Sunday.
The process will start from this Friday (October 9), and comes as cinemas struggle amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“We look forward to reopening full-time when the big blockbusters return,” a spokesperson for Odeon said (via The Guardian). “But in the meantime, we promise to bring you a great choice of big-screen films to enjoy at the weekends.”
The decision was reportedly made before the announcement that new James Bond film No Time To Die would be delayed until next spring.
It comes as Cineworld confirmed today (October 5) that it would be “temporarily” closing all its cinemas across the UK and US, putting 45,000 jobs – including 5,500 in the UK – at risk.
Meanwhile, fellow big chain Vue is exploring “all options” over their own venues, including temporary closure, chief executive Tim Richards told Sky News.
“We’re likely going to make it through,” he added, speaking to the Today programme. “We came into this a very strong industry. We just need to make it through the next three or four months where there are no movies.”
Last week, a number of prominent filmmakers signed an open letter to the US Congress warning that physical cinemas face extinction as a result of the pandemic.