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Exhibition giant Cineworld, which owns the Regal chain in the U.S., is set to reopen some of its European cinemas next week, with its U.S. and U.K movie theaters reopening on July 10.
Having closed its sites in mid-March due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and previously having said it would restart operations next month, the U.K.-based company on Tuesday detailed its reopening schedule for the nine markets it operates in, with the Czech Republic and Slovakia going first on June 26.
Subject to final government clearances the company expects that Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania will reopen on July 3, with Israel reopening on July 9, a day before the U.S. and U.K. Cineworld said it expects all its theaters to be open for business by mid-July.
The cinema giant said it had made several operational changes and invested in new technology to ensure social distancing. Among the measures, the company has updated its booking system to maintain social distancing on site, adapted its daily movie schedules to manage queues and avoid crowds building and upped its cleaning regime.
In a statement, Cineworld CEO Mooky Greidinger said: “We are thrilled to be back and encouraged by recent surveys that show that many people have missed going to the movie theatre.”
Greidinger added: “With a strong slate confirmed for the coming weeks, including among others Tenet, Mulan, A Quiet Place Part II, Wonder Women 1984, Black Widow, Bond, Soul, Top Gun Maverick and many more, the entire Cineworld team remains committed to being ‘the best place to watch a movie.”
Last week, Cineworld called off its planned $2.1 billion takeover of Canadian exhibitor Cineplex, which would have created one of the world’s largest cinema companies with more than 11,200 screens globally.
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