Whilst having a lazy Sunday morning in bed today checking the news on my phone I saw that Cineworld have made the decision to temporarily close all their UK cinemas putting 5,500 jobs at risk. This is partly due to the delay in releasing some blockbuster movies like the new Bond film. Whilst this is a temporary measure due to the Coronavirus pandemic it did make me think will cinemas ever fully recover and then become a thing of the past?
In reality as long as film producers and companies commission new movies there will be a need for cinemas. Yet whilst most of us get used to staying indoors our use of streaming services go up. What if most people decide its cheaper and easier to stay in and buy/rent/stream the latest blockbuster (legally or not) and turn their backs on the cinema?
We have seen how the local pub has disappeared from our streets since the mid 1990`s as cheaper alcohol has become available in supermarkets. Staying in is the new going out is it not?
Whilst the number of people visiting UK cinemas has remained the same I have always had the feeling that a trip to the cinema is now a very expensive pastime and many people visit them once maybe twice a year, if that.
Our habits are already changing with this pandemic. Working from home being the biggest change to our usual routines so our “new normal” may see us ditch the cinema and its outrageous food pricing for a night by the telly.
If a Great British tradition of the local pub can slowly ebb away why not the huge cinemas on retail parks that sprouted up years ago?