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October 5, 2020, 08.10 PM

LONDON, – Cineworld will close all of its UK and US sites this week hence leaving nearly 45,000 workers unemployed as it battles a coronavirus-related collapse in film releases and cinema-going.

It is the world’s second-biggest cinema chain and since the closure of its UK and US sites was announced, Cineworld share price has plunged.

With major releases such as the new James Bond movie on the backburner from the studios, it left the company no choice but to close all 536 Regal theaters in the US and 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theaters in the UK from October 8.

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Cineworld Chief Executive Mooky Greidinger told Sky News that the operations might resume in "two months, or a bit longer".

Movies including the superhero sequel "Wonder Woman 1984" are slated for a Christmas Day release.

"From a liquidity point of view, we were bleeding much bigger amounts when we are open than when we were closed," Greidinger said.

Cineworld's statement on Monday, confirming leaks over the weekend, spelt out the scale of job losses from its move, which affects thousands of ancillary staff including cleaners and security as well as its own employees.

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Cineworld share prices fell as much as 60 percent to an all-time low within 10 minutes of the opening bell on Monday as the group, which is carrying heavy debt due in part to its acquisition of Regal in 2018, said it was looking at all ways of raising additional funds.


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