The Cineworld Group – which owns four cinemas in Kent could be preparing to file for bankruptcy in the next few weeks.
The group own cinemas in Ashford, Dover, Rochester as wel las the Picturehouse cinema at the Elwick Place leisure complex in Ashford town centre. They could all be forced to close their doors if the compnay call in administrators.
The company has been unable to entice enough people back to the cinema after Covid lockdowns and has struggled to improve the services offered.
The news of Cineworld – the second-largest cinema business in the world – preparing to file a chapter 11 petition in the US. Chapter 11 is a kind of defence against full bankruptcy. It allows the company to stay in business, reorganise and restructure its obligations and debts. The company is also considering filing an insolvency proceeding in the UK. Both options would affect UK cinemas and could result in their permanent closure.
hopefully they will restructure the business or be bought out
Cineworld has run up debts of £4 billion due to huge losses made during the Covid crisis. The company’s market value more than halved on Wednesday after the company said it had started talks with stakeholders about a financial rescue package. It has blamed a lack of blockbuster films for admissions being lower than hoped.
The company’s average price of tickets has increased by 40% since the pandemic. Film fans have been quick to critise the company for not keeping up with the times.
When Cineworld first arrived in the UK, they were the leaders in cinemas, with huge multi-screen complexes and online booking. But they have not continued to evolve, whilst other brands have overtaken them with Imax screens and leather reclining chairs.
Cineworld is seen now as the ‘budget’ brand, with low staff numbers and expensive snacks and refreshments.