The Odeon Luxe, on Arundel Gate, is opening from Monday to Sunday despite several blockbuster movies having their premieres delayed until 2021, including James Bond’s latest outing No Time To Die, reportedly Daniel Craig’s final appearance as 007.
Studios are anxious to recoup the money spent on big-screen spectaculars, and are concerned box office returns may not hit expectations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Odeon has moved to a weekend-only model, opening from Thursday to Sunday, at a quarter of its venues. Its rival Cineworld has also temporarily closed all of its cinemas in the UK and US, and 21 of Vue’s 87 UK sites – but not its Meadowhall cinema – are shutting on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The Arundel Gate cinema is promising to show a range of old and new films, including the Lord of the Rings series, The Greatest Showman, the live action remake of Cinderella and Honest Thief, a fresh release starring Liam Neeson. Social distancing and hygiene measures are in place, while food and drink is still on sale.
Phil Towers, general manager of Odeon Luxe Sheffield, said: “We are really pleased to be able to continue to open seven days. Thank you to our valued guests for continuing to visit us and giving our safety measures a big thumbs up. Our big reclining seats mean that our screens are well set up to allow for social distancing, so there’s plenty of space to relax and feel safe.”
Louise Walker, the venue’s deputy manager, added: “Cinema provides us with an escape from the outside world for a few hours. We may not have some of the films we were expecting, but we’ve still got plenty to entertain you.”
Vue’s chief executive, Tim Richards, told national newspaper The Guardian last week that the Bond delay was ‘a surprise’.
“We reopened on the basis that we were going to be getting movies that then didn’t arrive,” he said. “We will survive, we just need movies.”